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Joseph Schaffner, 













Joseph Schaffner, 1848-1918; recollections and 
impressions of his associates. Chicago, 1920. 
4 p. 1., 135 p. front, (port.) faoszm. 22f». 




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From Lib. of 

John Bates Ciark 







"Nature seems to exist for the 
excellent. The world is upheld 
by the veracity of good men. 
They make the earth wholesome. 
They who lived with them 
found life glad and nutritious.*" 

— Emerson 

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N this book are set forth some of 
the things we know about Joseph 
Schafiher as he disclosed himself 
in his daily business relations with 
the men and women of his own organi2;ation. 
It is one indication of the nature of our 
association with him that, although we were 
merely employes, he gently rebuked any ref- 
erence to himself as "chief'; he said: "I am 
simply an employe, too/' We worked with 
him rather than for him. 

Since he left us, we have all wanted to re- 
member and in some way perpetuate the 
impressions and memories of our friend and 
co-worker; so much of what he gave to us is 
too rich to lose. We have tried here to re- 
cord some of these things and to present an 
intimate portrait of the man as he appeared 
to us from day to day; for to have known 
Joseph Schaffher is a great and enduring in- 





ROM the Civil War to the World 
War, big business was the domi^ 
nant note in American life. That 
period marks a great commercial 
and industrial development. Business ab^ 
sorbed politics; combinations were forming; 
production became vast; great fortunes were 
reared. Success, measured in terms of business 
achievement, was the great goal of the day. 
The self-made man who had come from the 
log cabin or the steerage to business captaincy 
was the shining example for the youth of the 
country. It was in this period that Joseph 
Schaffiier lived. 

The mature years of his life almost exactly 
lap this business epoch. He became twenty- 
one years of age about the time the country 
had ceased to stagger from the effects of the 
Civil War and his death in 191 8 came only a 
few months before the end of the World War. 




His contribution to this glowing period 
was an unusual one. He achieved his share 
of business success and he did more; he took 
an honorable and creditable part in the times 
in which he lived and also he projected him^ 
self into the days beyond his life. 

The idea of how much a business or an 
industry can serve the community at large 
and how it can do that to the mutual ad^ 
vantage of all the people engaged in it seems 
surely to be the line of development for the 
next epoch. Joseph Schaffner foresaw the 
trend and was a pioneer in that field of 

The industry to which he gave his greatest 
thought and service was hardly beyond the 
craft stage when he began his career. Before 
he died it had become one of the large in- 
dustries of the country, and a great contribu- 
tion to its character and standards had been 
made by the firm of which he was a member. 

There was nothing in his early life, his 
education or his training that seemed espe- 


cially to prepare him for this career. He was 
bom March 23, 1848, in Reedsburg, Ohio, his 
parents having emigrated to America from 
Germany. The schooling that he received 
was typical of the times, consisting of a few 
years in common school, and his total school- 
ing was certainly less than equivalent to what 
is today given in the first eight grades of the 
public schools. 

He had the experience of many another 
merchant of receiving his first mercantile 
training in a country store where he counted 
and candled eggs and exchanged them for 
sugar or calico. The great strife or feeUng 
preceding the Civil War did not reach him; 
he was too young. But as a boy of fourteen 
or fifteen years of age he sold articles of food 
to the soldiers who happened to be near-by, 
and he recollected it as an unusual experience. 
He lived for a time in Cleveland and reached 
Chicago as a young man, barely of age, with 
the desire to earn some money and contribute 
to the support of his parents. His endow- 



ments were the Jewish inheritances of char^ 
acter and ambition and mental alertness. 

For nearly twenty years the unusual things 
did not greatly enter into his life. He pro^ 
gressed in business and prospered. His work 
was done with vigor and ability but the im^ 
portant use of his great faculties was deferred. 
These years, however, even though their 
description sounds commonplace, inevitably 
were preparing him for his subsequent 

Somewhere in the early years of his Ufe, 
perhaps from his mother or from his father, 
possibly from the debates held around the 
stove of a country general store, possibly 
from some book or from some person, he re 
ceived the stimulus to read. As a young man 
he learned to prefer good literature. His mind 
had a seemingly natural preference for the 
best things that had been thought and writ' 
ten in the world. Early in life he knew and 
loved Shakespeare; he eagerly read essays 
and biographies. What he drank in was good; 


it went into a mind that absorbed and inter^ 
preted and made it a part of its own life. 

When he was nearly forty years of age, he 
severed a connection that represented the 
work of his youth and planned to start to 
the Northwest on a new business venture. 
At this critical moment of his life, suddenly 
and unexpectedly he entered a partnership 
with men who knew him and understood him 
and whom he knew and understood, and with 
that moment began his real career 

There followed a little more than thirty 
years of association with these men. Into 
those years they crowded achievements of 
the most brilliant nature that gave to the 
clothing industry a dignity and standing 
which it did not before possess. 

Ideas of business promotion bore abundant 
fruit. Advertising was introduced into the 
plan of clothing distribution and applied so 
effectively that it revolutioni2;ed the promo- 
tion side of the business. In doing it, there 
was incidentally made a contribution to the 




general standards of advertising, the value of 
which is permanent. 

The interest of educators and students was 
aroused in the problems of commerce and in- 
dustry through pri2;es offered for essays on 
economic subjects. 

An industrial crisis was met and principles 
of common justice applied to it in such a way 
that one of the famous labor agreements of 
America was produced. 

These things were done in the midst of the 
development of a marvelous business, the suc- 
cess of which in itself constituted a great 
achievement for the men engaged in it. 



r is because Joseph SchaiSSier filled 
his mind full of the great thoughts 
of the world, because he was es- 
sentially imaginative and almost 
poetical in his thought, and because he con- 
stantly showered upon others the things that 
he himself had gleaned, that we introduce into 
this recollection of his life a chapter on the 
treasures of his mind. 

As a rule, the environments of business and 
its demands do not furnish business men with 
much opportunity to disclose anything more 
than their daily judgments and decisions. We 
are not, ordinarily, accustomed to receiving 
from business men what we received from 
Mr. Schaffner, but no one could meet him 
daily without being impressed with the fact 
that his mind was filled with treasures and 
that he was always eager to share them. 


, M • ■ ■-■ 

What he lacked in the way of a college or 
university training he had well made up in a 
remarkable way by his devotion to good 
literature, and it was this process of training, 
self imposed, which made him one of the most 
highly cultivated men one could meet— a re^ 
specter of intellect, a friend of many men of 
culture and training. He had an insatiable hun^ 
ger for the best thoughts of men. 

In his daily business intercourse, he always 
introduced something apart from business and 
yet not apart from it. He avoided the shrewd 
and the crafty processes. He always brought 
something human, something high and helpful, 
into the most ordinary business transactions. 

And yet he was first and always a business 
man. His characteristic was that he directed 
not only great powers of intellect to business 
experience and the daily aflfairs of commerce 
but he also applied everything he thought and 
felt to the same end. There was nothing in 
his life or in his experience that seemed to be 
foreign to business. 


Day after day, and many times a day, many 
of us had such experiences as this: A matter of 
business was to be laid before him and dis- 
cussed with him for his advice and approval. 
He kept in close, active touch with all business 
matters. He insisted upon clear and brief 
presentation of subjects. When they were 
before him he would give them thoughtful 
attention. His mind seemed to run ahead and 
to understand what was coming. He weighed 
everything rapidly but not too hurriedly. His 
opinions were quickly formed and emphati- 
cally expressed. Then he might relate some 
incident of business which had a bearing upon 
the matter in hand or draw upon the great 
frind of good things in his mind to give point 
and emphasis to his comment. 

It was truly remarkable how he could delve 
into the recesses of his mind and pick out 
illustrations or incidents or quotations to fit 
the prosaic mtatters of business, or he might 
entirely discard business thought and say, "I 
was reading last evening in Boswell's 'Life of 




Johnson " (or in Matthew Arnold's "Essays,'' 
or perhaps one of his favorite poems) "an ex- 
tremely interesting part where he says—'' 
and then would follow a quotation. 

Sometimes it was: "By the way, have you 
j-ead— " mentioning some book he was then 
enjoying. "You must read that; it's just the 
sort of thing you would enjoy. I'll get a copy 
of it and send it to your home"; or he would 
strongly recommend the purchase of this or 
that work, usually with a keen and accurate 
perception of the individual taste and perhaps 
the intellectual needs of the man to whom he 
was speaking. 

There is probably not one among the men 
or women who were fortunate enough to be 
on these terms of personal daily intimacy with 
him who cannot present a hst of books— 
gifts from him, or bought at his urgent recom- 
mendation—and which now grace our own 
libraries. His influence was an inspiration to 
the higher life of the intellect; and he exerted 
this influence daily in business relationships. 




Here are some of the works and authors 
whom he often quoted or included in his 
gifts: The "Essays" of Matthew Arnold; 
Boswell's "Life of Johnson"; Walter Raleigh's 
"Essays on Samuel Johnson"; "Essays on Shake- 
speare"; John Morley's "Studies in Liter- 
ature" and "Life of Gladstone"; Walter 
Pater's "Essay on Style"; Francis Parkman's 
works; Symond's "Italian Renaissance"; "Let- 
ters of Junius"; Prescott's works; Taussig's 
"Principles of Economics"; Leslie Stephens' 
"Hours in a Library"; the "Letters of Charles 
Eliot Norton"; the "Life of John Hay"; the 
writings of Lafcadio Heam; Anatole France's 
"The Crime of Sylvester Bonnard"; "Essays on 
Shakespearean Tragedy," by Bradley. These 
are only a few books. This list is an indication 
of the breadth and variety of Mr. Schaffher's 
reading; he did not recommend a book he did 
not know personally. 

It must not be supposed that his reference 
to these and other literary treasures was 
made in any pedantic way; he was merely one 





lover of books pointing out to others the good 
things he had found and enjoyed. For his own 
refreshment he preferred the "old stand-bys''; 
and his excursions into other fields would usu^ 
ally bring him back, with renewed relish, to 
Boswell's "Johnson,'' to Macaulay's "Essays, 
to Shakespeare, Matthew Arnold's "Essays, 
Wordsworth's poetry, and Marcus Aurelius. 
More than once he quoted an incident report^ 
ed of the poet Tennyson, that, when dying, he 
said to his attendant, "Brii^ me my Shake^ 
speare," and then remained quiet, holding the 
beloved volume in his hands. His own love of 
Shakespeare made this anecdote very precious 
to Mr. Schaffner. "What was good for Tenny^ 
son is good for me," he said. 

He often, half-shyly, would apologize to us 
for so frequently permitting these matters of 
the intellectual life to interrupt the orderly 
process of business; but we now realize what 
a constant stimulus and inspiration he was in 
all these matters, and we are spiritually richer 
for his daily influence. 


He had a modesty about his gifts of books 
that was truly charming. To a man or woman 
who was desirous of expressing ardent thanks 
for his thoughtfulness, he would say, "Why, I 
had a selfish purpose in doing that. In reading 
a book of that kind you derive good from it 
and, in turn, you put it back into the business. 
That is my way of getting more out of you." 
With such an employer as that, how could 
anyone do less than give him more? 

That he possessed rare literary gifts of his 
own in a very large degree was evident to all 
of his associates, but he modestly and almost 
emphatically disclaimed them. He had great 
ability in the use of simple, forceful English 
and some of his letters, both of a business 
and a personal character, are worthy to rank 
among the best letters ever written. 

He had a keen and lively sense of humor. 
He sometimes said that temperamentally he 
was perhaps inclined to be melancholy, but 
this was seldom apparent. Occasional periods 
of gravity were signs that he had something 


of a serious nature before him or that he was 
not feeling physically at par, but he loved 
good stories and told them and listened to 
them with much satisfaction. His method of 
giving advice or instruction or making his 
point in an argument was very often by the 
medium of a remark or an illustration that 
brought a laugh. 

His appreciation of his associates was very 
beautiful. He was constantly referring to the 
qualities of the men around him. One man 
he would greet jocularly, "Good morning, 
talented exponent of our views,'' and he en- 
joyed the respectful familiarity of the retort, 
"Hail to you, venerated patron of the arts,'' 
or some other high-flown term. Of another 
man he would say, "He is nothing short of a 
wizard. I don't see how he directs his com- 
phcated work with such smoothness." Of 
another, "See that man with the steam engine 
walk. When I see him moving along like that, 
I know he is after something and that he will 
get it." 



No man ever possessed in a greater degree 
the ability to inspire. Men naturally became 
confidential and told him their problems and 
expressed their hopes; they never departed 
from his office without feeling a glow of some 
higher resolve and happiness. It might be some 
young man in the house who had ambitions 
to build a home, or some man who possibly 
had been rather careless about his expense, 
or a merchant who was troubled about his 
relations with his partners. But, no matter 
what the problem was, it would clear away 
before Mr. Schaffiier's philosophical and in' 
spirational advice. 

With himiself, Mr. Schaffiier was very se^ 
vere. He was acutely sensitive, with a sort of 
a conscience that led to much reflection and 
constant questioning of self He would tor- 
ture himself for weeks and spend sleepless 
nights because he thought that something he 
had said of someone he respected might have 
given unintentionally an unfair or unjust im- 
pression. A soul like his was bound to pos- 




sess the most acute and remarkable sense of 
honor. Those around him were constantly 
trained in the morals of keeping faith and of 
avoiding sharp and shrewd practice. He used 
to quote often from his beloved Marcus Au^ 
relius, "Fear nothing but disgrace/' 

He retained to the end of his life great 
mental youth and flexibiUty. He gathered 
young men around him and in the light of 
their younger vision he constantly re-exam^ 
ined his own ideas and policies. 

We who were associated with him and 
privileged to have a share in his activity were 
constantly made to feel on terms of equality 
and friendliness. He was an elder brother and 
wise counselor, an intellectual and spiritual 
inspiration, to his death. We are beginning 
to realize our debt to him. 



HE springs of Mr. Schaffiier's influ' 
ence came from the deep sources 
of spiritual strength — a strong 
faith in men, his belief in their 
honesty, his unshakable confidence in the 
high ideals which he steadily applied to his 
own business. It is not to be wondered at, 
therefore, that the profound impression he 
made upon his closest business associates ex^ 
tended to the executives of the house, the 
salesmen, the rank and file of the organi2;ation, 
to retail merchants and to any man with 
whom he had business relations. 

When the partners of Hart Schafiher 6? 
Marx began their association, the industry as 
a whole had been on a "caveat emptor'' basis 
and was not highly respected. They could 
see no reason why the clothing business 
should not be as respectable as the banking 
business; and they purposed to make it so. 




Bad practice in business was courageously 
fought and efforts made to educate to the 
dignity of their calling a great body of retail 
merchants all over the country. For thirty 
years they encouraged the highest standards 
of business and held that, if a merchant would 
prosper, he must make his profits in the ser^ 
vice of his customers rather than at their 
expense. As Mr. Schaffner once said, "If we 
were here only to sell goods and make a lot 
of money, it would not warrant us in push' 
ing so hard, because no one has the right to 
high consideration who has nothing but a 
material object as a basis for his motives. It 
is useless for us to say we are not striving to 
make money, because that is the measure, 
after all, of success in business; but it is gratis 
fying at the same time to feel that it is coupled 
with an ethical principle that puts us on a 
big, broad, moral foundation. The best evi- 
dence of this is that people generally ac 
knowledge we have done much to raise the 
standard of the clothing industry. I believe 



if we could really appreciate what we have 
here we should be overflowing with the joy 
of our activities and grateful that we are con- 
nected with a business that has given us such 

In many ways he expressed these high 
policies to merchants. There are hundreds of 
retailers throughout the country who would 
gladly acknowledge the debt they owe him 
for his encouragement, for his kindly admoni- 
tions, for the ideals which he constantly held 
before them. 

Any merchant who disregarded ethical 
principles was quite certain, sooner or later, 
to bring down upon himself a wrath that was 
scathing. It is a tribute to Mr. Schaffner that 
his most searching and severe methods in such 
cases seldom aroused resentment. 

We who were in close touch with many 
of these cases sometimes had moments of anx- 
iety as to the effects of such severity on the 
business; but Mr. Schaffner calmly said, "I 
know Fm right about this and he's wrong. 



Don't worry about the effect on the business. 
When you're sure you're right, go ahead." 
There are merchants today who were pulled 
out of the mire of disreputable practice by 
the severe rebukes administered by him. 

In the early days of the business, the can^ 
cellation of orders was a common practice 
except among the best merchants and there 
was almost no attempt to frustrate it. A 
merchant felt at liberty to buy as much as he 
pleased and take as little as he pleased. This 
abuse Mr. SchaflSier attacked with all of his 
energy. He did not have the idea that, lone^ 
handed, he could wipe it out at one stroke 
but he did beUeve that the flagrant cases 
should be fought to the last ditch and that 
gradually merchants should be taught that 
good faith must be a part of every business 

On one occasion a large retailer, after an 
order had been accepted, undertook to make 
an extensive cancellation by mail and did so 
in an arbitrary and high-handed manner. This 


brought a rebuke so thorough, so full of jus- 
tice, that the man who received it must have 
had a new view of himself 

Unfortunately the files containing the letter 
no longer exist but it remains in the memory 
of the people in the office and certainly it is 
still in the mind of the man who received it. 
It was a firm, dignified denunciation of the 
practice and concluded with the statement 
that the company had no desire to do busi- 
ness with a man who did not keep faith and 
that he was entirely welcome to make his 
purchases elsewhere in the future. 

There was great interest as to what would 
follow. In those days, not one business man 
in a thousand would have predicted any other 
result than the cancellation of the entire order 
and the severance of business relations. What 
happened was that no part of the order was 
cancelled. The goods were accepted and the 
account remained on the books as long as the 
merchant continued in business. The emphasis 
with which the letter scorned any suggestion 


I i 

of departure from standards for the sake of 
business gain was a triumph of moral force. 

When the firm was young, Mr. Schaffher 
gave personal attention to many details. He 
answered the important mail, passed upon 
the credits, checked out-going shipments, and 
kept closely in touch with all departments. 
He thus knew personally and intimately many 
of the men who grew to positions of great 
responsibility in later years. His understand^ 
ing of them and their appreciation of him 
were among the beautiful things of his busi^ 
ness career. 

In the later years of his life, it was a com^ 
mon occurrence for him to hail such men as 
they were passing by and take them into his 
office for a "talk.'' Those talks were bright 
spots in the lives of the men who enjoyed 
them. In the most delicate manner, the ques^ 
tion of personal relation to the business was 
discussed, the road to further achievement 
was inspiringly pointed out, and praise and 
stimulation were benignantly bestowed. Only 



a man who had that relationship with Mr. 
Schaffiier realized the wonder of it. No one 
was lost sight of. The office boy of the early 
days who had become a man of responsibility 
was held up to others as a shining example. 
A man who stumbled was given a helping 

It was a great delight to Mr. Schaffner 
when he discovered that any particular young 
man was growing in business capacity. That 
man was at once flooded with encouragement 
and opportunity. Frequent excursions were 
made through the house, from floor to floor, 
to the salesroom, the order department, the 
back order floor, the shipping-room, and else- 
where, to chat with the executives or with 
the rank and file. The return from such tours 
always meant new thoughts and suggestions 
about men and methods. He would say, "I 
was in such and such a department today. 
That boy up there (mentioning his name) is 
doing fine work. Keep your eye on him and 
give him more responsibility.'' And the mat' 







ter was not dropped with one suggestion; it 
was always followed up. 

At one time he was about to leave on a 
vacation. Shortly before train^time, an em" 
ploye brought him some routine things for 
his consideration. Mr. Schaffher said, "Who 
will decide about these things when I am 
away?'' The employe said, "We shall have 
to do it to the best of our ability.'' The reply 
was, "You may start doing it now and keep 
it up. Follow your best judgment: If you 
make mistakes, and you probably will, I shall 
forgive you." 

That was one of his qualities — the throw- 
ing of responsibility on growing men. An- 
other trait was his absolute and unfailing 
support of any man who had made an honest 
effort to do a task whether or not he was 
successful. The sign of progressiveness on 
the part of an employe in undertaking to do 
things and doing them intelligently was 
always a great joy to Mr. Schafiher. He did 
not excuse blundering; on the contrary, he 


abhorred it, but honest, well-timed, intelligent 
effort always received praise from him no 
matter what the outcome. 

If a salesman encountered a quarrelsome 
customer, that customer would be lost to the 
business rather than that the company re- 
pudiate the salesman. There was never any 
question as to where a good employe stood 
if he encountered difficulty in the conscien- 
tious performance of his work. 

The attitude and relations of Mr. Schaffner 
to salesmen may perhaps be best indicated by 
their attitude and relations to him. One of 
the salesmen expressed what all the salesmen 

"Mr. Schaffner had a particularly keen eth- 
ical sense in dealing with merchants or with 
any question of policy which we might have 
occasion to discuss with him. He simply 
wanted to know what was the right thing, 
the fair thing, to do and then he tried to do 
that. He did make mistakes, sometimes. I re- 
member on one occasion a number of the 




salesmen had done something of which he 
did not approve. It was in a sense a purely 
personal matter with these salesmen— noth' 
ing directly connected with business. 

"But Mr. Schaffner always had a fatherly 
feeling toward 'the boys/ as he always called 
us; and he took it upon himself in this case 
to call these men into his ofEce one at a time 
and admonish them, somewhat severely they 
felt. He talked very plainly to them; as one 
of them put it 'he raked me over the coals 
pretty roughly.' 

"The next day, each of these men was 
again summoned to Mr. Schaffner's desk, and 
something to this effect was said: 'I told Mrs. 
Schaffner last night, after I reached home, 
what I had said to you yesterday, and she 
said I was entirely wrong; that in a matter so 
personal as that you had a right to do as 
you pleased, and that I had no right to scold 
you as I did. I believe she's right about it; 
my motive was good but I was wrong and I 
want to apologi^ie." 


"It was this sense of fairness which en- 
deared the man to us; it was his acute per- 
ception of 'the right thing' which everyone 
liked. It was such a policy in business which 
did so much to raise the general standard of 
business ethics not only here among us but 
generally throughout the clothing trade.'" 

"I never went to Mr. Schafiher to talk 
about my problems and difficulties as a sales- 
man," said another member of the selling 
force, "that I did not come from the inter- 
view encouraged and made to feel that I was 
a better man; that I could overcome any ob- 
stacle. I believe that every man who talked 
with him had a similar feeling; and many of 
them have said that a half hour's talk with 
Mr. Schaffner made them feel a sense of part- 
nership in the business. 

"The letters written by Mr. Schaffner to 
'the boys' were also a great inspiration; all of 
our salesmen will agree with me when I say 
that many times after a disappointing day, 
when I felt blue and discouraged, a letter 



-f r li iliftii 


from Mr. Schafiher woiild come and it would 
revive and rejuvenate my spirits and make 
me feel able to conquer anything. He was a 
master of inspiration.'" 

By conversation and by his letters— Mr. 
Schafiher's letters are considered in a chapter 
by themselves — he stimulated, encouraged, 
admonished his salesmen. He often said that 
the best way to get a man to do anything 
that had to be done was to express belief in 
his ability to do it. 

In the delicate matter of credit, Mr. Schaff" 
ner was both strict and liberal. Being himself 
a man young in spirit he had great faith in 
young men and older men of youthful ideas. 
He examined character and integrity more 
closely than financial resources. He constantly 
said, "When you find a young man who wants 
to go into business, don't worry too much 
about his capital. If he's the right kind of man, 
give him a chance; he'll make good for you." 
There are many accounts on the books of 
the firm today which were refused credit by 


other manufacturers but accepted by Mr. 
Schafiher on his confidence in character and 
his keen judgment of men. His belief in the 
"average of honesty" was strong and he often 
cautioned against too great rigidity. 

"How much would you lose," he some- 
times said, "if you shipped without question 
every dollar's worth of goods anybody wants 
to buy from you?" He often discussed this 
matter at length and mentioned instance after 
instance of weak concerns made strong by 
right treatment. He strove to show to the 
credit department that it was not a wise 
policy to scan prospective accounts so closely 
that every possible chance of loss was elimi- 
nated. He held that the only way to make 
volume of business is to trust men of char- 
acter and guide them in the wise conduct of 
their business. 

His theories of credit were fully justified; 
no "credit man" in the world had a larger 
percentage of "discounters" than he. After a 
serious talk on this vital subject on one occa^ 

[31 1 


sion Mr. Schaffner shot a ray of humor 
through the discussion by saying, "I some^ 
times think thit our concern can get along 
almost as well with a credit man as it could 
without one/^ 

When a failure occurred which could not 
be satisfactorily explained, such a merchant 
did not find it easy to make a settlement. Mr. 
Schaffner believed that an easy settlement 
encouraged failures. But if a merchant had 
been merely unfortunate through circum^ 
stances over which he had no control, he re^ 
ceived without question warm support and 
aid. There are many merchants who are tO' 
day prosperous because, at the critical time, 
they received the needed support. One in^ 
stance of this policy will illustrate many 

An old, conservative, retail clothing con^ 
cern, owned by a man in middle life, a fine 
type of the gentleman in business, was given 
a severe blow by a disastrous fire which prac' 
tically wiped him out. It was found, after this 



catastrophe, that the head of the concern, 
good business man as he was, had made a very 
serious blunder, as good business men some^ 
times do. He had allowed some of his insur^ 
ance to lapse and the loss by fire was a serious 
one. The problem for this man was a difficult 
one to meet. How could he resume business 
with his capital and assets so badly impaired? 
He came to see Mr. Schaffiier, accompanied 
by his young junior partner. They came "hop- 
ing against hope''; the average manufacturing 
concern would have been sorry for them and 
would have expressed sympathy and let it go 
at that; there was nothing in their financial 
position to recommend them. 

Mr. Schaffner met these downcast men 
with cheerful optimism and, after a long, 
friendly talk and counsel, he said to the mer- 
chant, "You may go to the sales floor and buy 
as much merchandise as you want, and we 
will ship it at once. Go back to your home; 
get your new store ready, and we'll have the 
goods there for the opening.'' 



I I 

The result was so unexpected to the mer- 
chant that, when it fairly dawned on him 
that his business life was literally being saved, 
he bowed his head on his hands and burst 
into tears. The junior partner, a young man 
of great loyalty to his elder associate, was 
equally affected. The men were of fine natures 
and both had been under a great strain and 
to have this lifted and to feel themselves back 
in business again, standing before the world 
as they had always stood, was so great a re- 
Uef that it could be expressed only by the 

Mr. Schaffiier, in referring to the matter 
later, justified his action by saying, "It wasn t 
that I was sorry for the man— anybody would 
have been sorry for him; but sympathy is not 
a good basis for a large credit. I got at the 
heart of the man; I saw what he was, and I 
believed in what he could do. I wasn t really 
taking a very great risk.'' ' 

His judgment was confirmed. The concern, 
in a new store, with a new stock, stimulated 


by the hope of new success, quickly justified 
the confidence placed in it. 

In these and other ways, Mr. Schaffner 
spread abroad his beneficent influence upon 
all with whom he had relations. 

To a man of his conspicuous success, it 
was inevitable that opportunities for public 
service should come. There were two things 
that prevented him firom doing much work 
of a public nature. One was his absolute 
passion for the business. He believed that a 
man could contribute most to his city or his 
country by achieving results in whatever he 
undertook. He believed that, in building up 
a big business which really served, a man 
rendered a public service more truly than ii 
he undertook many public functions and neg- 
lected his business. Even realising that his 
tremendous ability, applied in any direction, 
would have had results, we can all now see 
that it would have been a distinct loss had 
he diverted his mind from the business to 
outside enterprises. 




■ I -ifc ■ 



The second thing that prevented him from 
accepting honors was his great modesty, not 
that he misunderstood or was unmindful of 
honest praise. While he abhorred flattery, he 
liked to feel that the things he did or that 
the business did were understood and truly 
valued. Coupled with that, however, was a 
natural shrinking from being personaUy con^ 
spicuous. Although he had a fine, commanding 
voice, nothing could induce him to make a 
public address. His aversion to doing so 
amounted almost to an obsession, so that his 
public appearances were rare. 

There were intimations conveyed to him 
from time to time that, if he would express a 
willingness, appointments carrying with them 
high honor might come to him, but he dis^ 
couraged all such thoughts. He accepted one 
bank directorship and was very conscientious 
in the performance of his duties but found it 
required more of his energy than he was able 
to give. He had other opportunities to be" 
come associated with leading financial institu^ 


tions and he was frequently mentioned for 
high appointments. While he felt it was a 
fine thing on the part of men who could per" 
form such duties to render such service, he 
could not have failed to recogni2;e that a far 
greater opportunity for service lay in the 
course that he followed. 






HE progressive character of his 
mind made it natural that Mr. 
Schaffher should grasp quickly the 
possibilities of publicity when ap^ 

plied to business. It was a sign of his calibre 
that all through his business life he caught the 
importance of new forces and utilized them 
before most men were ready to accept them. 
In the nineties, the education of the public as 
to the value of goods was for the most part 
carried on in a crude and desultory way. He 
foresaw the possibilities of this great force and 
its application became an activity in which 
he felt the keenest and liveliest interest. 

The first efforts in publicity aroused some 
curiosity but more skepticism in the trade. 
Some of the old-timers smiled indulgently to 
see a young business house squandering, as 
they thought, its hard-earned profits in news- 
paper and maga2;ine space. They said that it 



was an expensive way to gratify pride, but 
it wasn't their money, so they at least would 
not be the suflferers. 

In talking about the general attitude of the 
trade at the time of the first eflforts made to 
educate the consumer, a dean of the advertis- 
ing fraternity gave this personal observation: 

"Mr. Schaffher was the object of much 
curiosity and some sympathy when he began 
advertising. One of his competitors met him 
one day and mentioned the matter. This com- 
petitor said if a man wanted to throw money 
in the lake it was a fine way to go about it. 
Mr. Schafeer agreed that it cost money, all 
right. About a year after the same man was 
encountered again. He said, *I see you are 
still giving some of your profits to the pub- 
lishers." Mr. Schaffner admitted the charge 
and also acknowledged on being pressed that 
he was not able directly to measure the re- 
turn from the expenditure. After a few more 
years, those interested began to show anxiety 
about the matter. The expenditure had in- 




creased year after year and the supposed reck- 
lessness of the venture began to take on a 
new aspect. It was beginning to dawn on the 
industry that a new force was at work; there 
were unmistakable signs of a new leadership. 
It took a few years for it to permeate and by 
the time the effect of advertising on the pub- 
lic was frilly recogni2;ed in the industry Mr. 
Schafiher's work had progressed far/' 

In an article by Mr. Schaffher, written at 
the request of the editor of a leading business 
m2^a2;ine and published in its issue of Febru- 
ary, 191 5, he referred to his use of publicity 
in these words: 

"When I first became associated with my 
partners, their high ideals of business, their 
devotion to the work they had undertaken, 
their ethical sense of obligation to those who 
bought and wore their goods, their strong 
purpose to give value, their pride in the qual- 
ity of their product— these things impressed 
me as profoundly as they had impressed others. 
Our national advertising grew out of a desire 


to tell everybody what these men had done 
and were doing. The advertising began in a 
small way; about $5,000 was the extent of our 
first year's appropriation and that seemed a 
good deal at that time. We were told very 
frankly by other manufacturers and by re^ 
tailers that advertising would not pay us. 
One of our customers who now owns several 
very important retail stores could not then be 
convinced that our advertising would help 
his sales; he did not beUeve that we could 
draw people to his store for our goods. It 
wasn't long after when this man discovered 
that the public was acquiring a knowledge of 
our clothes and a belief in their quality. Ad^ 
vertising increased our volume; volume has 
enabled us to increase our value^giving, both 
by lower prices and by putting more quality 
into the goods. Advertising has been, and is, 
an economy.**' 

Mr. Schaffner's temperament and his broad 
knowledge of good literature made him an in^ 
valuable critic and guide for the men who 


wrote "copy.'' His criticism was pointed and 
always constructive; he had a keen sense of 
the merits of a well-written phrase or para^ 
graph and, when he suggested a change in the 
wording of an advertisement, it was always 
an improvement. 

He frequently wrote an advertisement him- 
self and submitted it, in a half-apologetic way, 
to the members of the staflf and was always 
genuinely pleased when his work was ap- 
proved by them. It indicated the fine spirit 
which he showed toward all of us, that he 
accepted criticism of his own writing exactly 
as he gave it to ours. Very often he would 
take the "copy" for an advertisement and 
with his own hand re-write a paragraph or 
change a word here and there, and then say, 
with a laugh, "Now we have made a very 
good advertisement." 

He possessed in a very marked degree the 
fine quality which enables a man to take "the 
other fellow's" point of view — one of the es- 
sential qualifications for writing good advep 





tising. He was able thus to express himself 
quite impartially and in a manner that carried 

From the first, the advertising employed 
illustrations to a very large extent. It was 
determined that the pictures used should be 
of high character artistically; and he gave 
close attention to this phase of pubUcity. 
Although not as expert a critic of art as he 
was of hterature, he had a keen feeling for 
artistic things, and was always deeply inter- 
ested in good composition and fine color 
effects. He gathered about him in this branch 
of the advertising work men of much ability, 
artists of high standing; he led them to feel 
that they were not debasing their art by mak- 
ing it serve the ends of business; he listened 
thoughtfully and patiently to those who were 
trained to judge of such matters. He had the 
greatest respect for trained men in any field. 
His natural sense of artistic values was rapidly 
developed by the study of art in advertising 
and his grasp of it grew as years passed. 


In illustrations of clothing he did not want 
the smooth, unwrinkled effects which were 
then so common on "tailors' style charts.'' 
He wanted men shown Tvhose faces had char- 
acter, whose bodies were human and real. 
He permitted his artists to draw the clothes 
and the men as they really were. When an 
artist produced something good, in color or in 
black and white, no matter how new or ad-, 
vanced it might seem, it never failed to receive 
Mr. Schaffner s approval, and in such matters 
time usually proved that his judgment was 

He was convinced that good advertising 
would not only increase sales but that it 
would help to raise the general standards of 
quality in the merchandise and improve the 
policies throughout the industry. He believed 
advertising would eventually make possible 
large-scale production, thereby reducing costs 
to the minimum. He once said, when the 
question of the amount of advertising appro- 
priation was under discussion, "When we 




want to reduce expenses, we increase the ad" 
vertising appropriation/' 

The first attempts at advertising, however, 
were not very impressive. It was a new 
field and he entered it cautiously. He often 
laughed, in later years, at these small begin- 
nings; and occasionally, when authorizing an 
expenditure of many thousands of dollars, 
would refer to those beginning days when he 
thought $i,ooo was a large sum to spend. He 
learned advertising by doing it; his mind 
grasped its meaning and its fundamental prin- 
ciples very quickly. He was a "progressive'' 
advertiser from the first. 

As the general theory and philosophy of 
advertising grew more clear in his mind, he 
vigorously sought to encourage advertising of 
a better type on the part of retail merchants. 
Under his guidance there was built up a ser- 
vice which became, as the years passed, one 
of the phenomena of business. Advertise- 
ments were prepared under his direction 
which retail merchants were glad to use as 


their own or adapt to their business, and by 
this means better policies and higher stand- 
ards of business were encouraged. In this and 
in other ways, the influence of the man made 
itself felt throughout the country. He en- 
couraged his customers constantly to do more 
as well as better advertising. 

On one occasion, he wrote to a merchant 
who was inclined to curtail his advertising 
expenditure on a mistaken idea of economy: 
"Our idea in advertising has not been to 
give a testimonial of good will, when business 
is good, to newspapers that need money, 
but to increase our sales; and we have con- 
sequently swelled our advertising whenever 
the prospects were gloomy. Our policy in bad 
times has been redoubled efforts. 

"The other theory— of feeling that you can 
afford to advertise only when you are making 
a lot of money— places advertising on the 
basis of charity, pure and simple. If this were 
so, the great national businesses of today 
would not exist. But advertising is far from 


f » 


charity. It is an investment on which the first 
dividend is sometimes deferred but which has 
its return compounded. 

"If you were a farmer and had some poor 
land, you would not devote half the care to 
that land that you regularly devoted to your 
better land, but would double the amount. 
When there is a prospect of a poor year, 
normality will be secured not by neglect but 
by extra eflForts. 

"There is no system that we know of by 
which you can discriminate between the peo^ 
pie who are future customers and the people 
who are not. If there were, it would certainly 
revolutionize business.'^ 

He felt strongly that the national advertise 
ing he directed had created a great good will 
for the concern and its merchandise; and that 
retail merchants who sold the clothes ought 
to utili2;e that asset in their own advertising. 
He constantly preached that idea to them. 

He said to a merchant: "We have never 
considered advertising an expense; it has 


always proved to be an economy. It has given 
us immense volume; has kept down our man^ 
ufecturing costs on that account, as well as 
our overhead. The same principle applies to 
the dealer in each community where our 
goods are sold.'" 

To another merchant he said: "It is some' 
what difficult for merchants, who have been 
accustomed to a certain fixed idea as to the 
amount of profit that one is entitled to in re^ 
lation to expense, to change their viewpoint, 
just as some of them hesitate about spending 
money for advertising because their busi' 
nesses do not justify more than a certain ex' 
penditure. But if they make the investment 
in publicity, even for beyond what the cur^ 
rent business warrants, the experience of 
those who have tried it proves that the vol' 
ume soon overtakes the appropriation and 
reduces the cost of advertising by the in^ 
creased profits. It takes some courage to do 
these things, but one soon becomes bolder as 
one reali2;es the impetus it gives to business.'' 



One characteristic of Mr. Schafiher's rek" 
tion to the advertising was the frequency 
with which he suggested and approved the 
preparation of "advertising which did not ad- 
vertise/' Booklets on "Courage," on "En- 
thusiasm/' on "Co-operation,'' and on many 
similar subjects were issued which did not 
directly advertise clothing; in many cases the 
only reference to Hart Schafiher 6? Marx in 
the booklet was the company's imprint on 
the title page. These booklets were inspira- 
tional in character and widely read. Mr. 
Schafiher often said to his advertising men, 
with a gentle smile, "Don't always try to sell 
clothes; let this go through without any 
^clothes' in it— just be helpful, if we can, in 
developing better business ideas." 

In one of these booklets he preached a 
much-needed sermon on dignity in business. 
He said: 

"The clothing merchant of the present day 
sustains a relation to his community of con- 
siderable importance. The clothes a man 


wears are to some extent a true index of his 
character and tastes; but they're also an in- 
fluence upon his character and tastes; they 
affect in an unconscious and more or less 
indirect way his standir^ in the community. 
This being true, it is easy to see that the 
clothing man has a duty to his fellow-citi2;ens 
which ought not to be neglected or treated 
lightly; and a part of that duty is to maintain 
his own dignity in the business, to lead his 
customers to regard clothes and clothes-buy- 
ing as a matter of importance. When a 
clothing merchant reaches the point of seeing 
that dignity in business pays, that his duty 
as a merchant to his customers is a higher 
one than merely selling merchandise, that he 
ought to serve them as well as sell to them, 
and that his highest service and value to his 
community is to see that the men in it wear 
the kind of clothes that are really best for 
them— when he gets these things once settled 
in his mind, he generally attains success and 
with it a high degree of gratification." 






It was a matter of much pride to Mr. 
Schaffiier when one of these booklets, with 
the title "Enthusiasm," not an advertisement 
but an argument for the value of enthusiasm 
in business, brought letters from heads of 
large concerns in other lines of business who 
had seen the booklet and who asked for fifty 
or a hundred or more copies, for use among 
their own employes. 

Every now and then he did a sudden and 
unexpected thing which for a time brought 
consternation to the advertising staff, but 
which proved in the end to be one of those 
daring master'Strokes of business which 
seemed intuitive with him. One such expe- 
rience recurs to us. It arose out of a question 
of the price at which the clothes were sold 
at retail. Retailers insisted that they had to 
sell lower'priced clothes; that many of their 
customers would not pay more than a certain 
price for a suit and the figure mentioned was 
lower than any goods that were being pro- 
duced by the company. Salesmen too were 

I 52] 

clamoring for a lower-priced suit. They said: 
"If you will give us a suit to sell at this lower 
price, we'll capture the whole market." 

The manufacturing chiefs refused to make 
clothes as low-priced as this demand called 
for. "It cannot be done," they said, "if we 
maintain our standards of quality in materials 
and workmanship." And there the matter 
stood. Merchants and salesmen were disap' 
pointed and felt a little rebellious; the mer' 
chandisers of the business were resolute. 
Under these conditions was begun the prep- 
aration of the season's advertising campaign, 
avoiding as carefully as possible this "low- 
price" subject. The copy for the campaign 
was finished and waiting for Mr. Schafiher's 
final reading and approval when business 
called him away. He was gone about ten 
days. Immediately upon his return he called 
the advertising heads together and said: 

"I have decided on the best way to meet 
this low-price clamor. We shall put out an 
advertising campaign at once telling the pub- 






lie that true economy in buying clothes is in 
paying $ — '' (naming a price $io above the 
low price urged by retailers). "Instead of try^ 
ing to compete with these cheaper goods we 
shall go in the opposite direction. We shall 
discard the advertising already prepared and 
get ready new copy on this new idea/' 

When this was announced and the first 
of the advertisements appeared, there was 
great dismay among merchants and salesmen. 
Nearly all of them thought it was a mistake; 
some said it was folly. But the event proved 
that the course was not only sound as a busi- 
ness pohcy but it was, more than that, a 
stroke of genius. 

Mr. Schafiher s faith in "common honesty'' 
was shown by the wording of the guaranty 
issued by the firm. He wrote as follows to a 

"A guaranty that is limited by a bill of ex- 
ceptions is not a guaranty at all, so far as the 
pubHc is concerned. The guaranty of our 
clothes is outright and is written in as clear 


and decisive terms as we can express them. 
There are no mental reservations behind it 
or qualifications of any kind whatsoever. It 
is impossible to promise perfection in any 
human product; we are not infallible; we take 
every precaution to avoid errors; but we do 
not think it is fair to expect anybody else to 
pay for our mistakes. Even if our work is per- 
fect, the man who buys our clothes may not 
be satisfied; we guarantee and intend to guar- 
antee his satisfaction; and his idea of what 
'satisfaction' means decides it, not ours. Sat- 
isfaction is a mental, not a material, condition. 
We do not guarantee the goods; we guar- 
antee satisfaction. A man may wear a gar. 
ment for a month or two months or even 
three and get considerable service out of it, 
yet if a garment does not prove to be what 
the consumer has a right to expect, it is only 
fair that his complaint should be given the 
broadest interpretation and that he should 
receive his money back. This is the idea that 
we have expressed in our own guaranty. We 


! I 


'' '( 


\' • 


I : 

are not trying to do merely legal or technical 
justice; we want to do *the fair thing'; we 
should much rather be unfair to ourselves, 
if necessary, than unfair to the man who 
thought he was buying satisfaction in our 
goods and found he was not getting it. Our 
guaranty explicitly proposes to satisfy the 
mental attitude of the consumer, even if it 
has to be done at some expense; but we con^ 
sider that there is no other way to establish 
a firm foundation for public confidence.'' 

Mr. Schaffher had so much confidence in 
the force of advertising that he sometimes 
expressed extreme views on it. In a letter 
from Atlantic City, where he was enjoying a 
rest, he wrote regarding the amount of news- 
paper space to be used: 

"There is no use in taking too many bites 
at a cherry; swallow it at one gulp. I know 
you will come back with figures showing 
added cost, but what difference does it make 
if you get your returns so much more fully? 
Let's do something sensational and forget 


about the cost until the returns are in next 
December. I know you will think I am the 
victim of the last man I consult. I am always 
ready to revise any opinion I have, if I find 
anything better, and that's my present con- 
viction about the value of big space." 

And again on the same subject a day or 
two later: 

"You boys are *tight-wads' and that is your 
strong recommendation for the positions you 
occupy; but I know you are willing to spend 
a dollar if you can get back a dollar fifty; and 
it's on this basis that we must view it." 

There are numerous instances in which 
Mr. Schaffner's steady optimism as to the 
value of advertising and his constant encour- 
agement led a merchant out of difficulty into 
success. A man with a small amount of capital 
but with a desire to do a high-class business 
took a larger store, at greater rental, and put 
in a large stock of fine merchandise. For sev- 
eral years he fought an up-hill battle for suc- 
cess; discouraged, he came many times to talk 



J. I 

with Mr. Schaffner, who said: "Keep on; 
you re on the right track; the results of such 
methods are certain; don t weaken. Do more 
advertising."" He made the merchant believe 
in himself. 

His efforts in leading merchants in this 
direction constitute a great and lasting serv" 
ice. His feeling was that by making a man 
subscribe to certain principles you really force 
him to live up to them and thus make him a 
better man and merchant. In everything that 
was sent to merchants there was a note of 
inspiration. He was happy if he could lead a 
man to set forth in his advertising a better 
and stronger policy. He would say frequently: 
"Now, if I can only get that man to say this 
over and over again, I shall make him believe 
in it and Uve up to it, and he will have a 
better business.'" So he put into many men"s 
minds certain thoughts and expressions of an 
ethical and moral nature that had an ines^ 
timable influence in elevating the standards 
of the retail clothing business. 



IS letters were a literary achieve- 
ment. In comparison with the 
average business compositions of 
the day, they were pearls of great 
price. He wrote easily and fluently and always 
his correspondence showed more of a desire 
to serve and benefit his correspondent than 
to gain something for himself. 

Hundreds of his letters are today kept and 
treasured by happy and grateful recipients, 
not alone for their quality and beauty but for 
the hope and inspiration which they carried 
in their lines. It happened often that some 
man who had received one of these beautiful 
letters would say, "I don"t suppose you re- 
member the letter that you wrote me five 
years ago, but I want to teU you that it was 
the finest letter I ever received in my life and 
i have put it where I can preserve it for my 
self and show it to my children."" 




i« i 




Mr. Schaffiier sensed psychological effects 
intuitively. He went straight to the core of 
a subject with unerring accuracy. His reason- 
ing was clear and direct; illustrations were 
apt and vivid, and a touch of familiarity was 
added here and there which had a perfectly 
winning effect upon the reader. 

The scope of his letters was unlimited. 
They touched financing, publicity, merchan- 
dising, management, personal conduct, busi- 
ness ethics, labor, education and every form 
of business problem. 

How vividly we can see him at his desk, 
dictating in his characteristic, vigorous way! 
He talked rapidly and hesitated only when 
he wanted a word to express the nicest shade 
of meaning. Then, once over the point of 
hesitation, there would follow a flow of 
words almost too rapid for the stenographer. 
His vocabulary constantly grew and it was 
always a delight to him when he found a new 
word that would add force or meaning to 
his letters. 


When his indignation was once aroused, he 
could not wait, but would walk to the desk of 
the stenographer and pour forth his thoughts 
with great vehemence. Sometimes it was nec- 
essary, as a matter of business policy, to ex- 
tract some of the fire from such letters, but 
in their original form they were a genius of 
force which no tempering could improve. 

His letters to merchants always inspired 
to better things in business; sometimes they 
praised; sometimes they criticised — often 
severely; but always the spirit was friendly, 
appreciative of what he thought was good, 
and condemning what he thought was bad. 

To one he wrote regarding a fair margin 
of profit: 

"It isn t always necessary to get big profits 
in order to be successful. We believe in the 
reverse plan, and while we know it takes a 
certain amount of profit to make a business 
pay, it takes a good deal less profit than people 
imagine if they handle the problem in the 
right way.'' 






To another, dealing with this same subject, 
the margin of profit, he said: 

"The public very soon responds to values. 
It might be true that few people can tell 
whether a suit is worth $2, $3 or $5, more 
or less; but there is a hidden principle that is 
unerring and that reveals the collective judg- 
ment of your community; when a policy of 
this kind is pursued for any length of time, 
they soon find out where the best values are 
offered. The good will that you create in this 
way and that brings new business into your 
store will much more than offset the slight 
sacrifice that you make in the reduced prices." 

In another letter to the head of a large 
concern, he discussed value-giving, service 
and advertising, and incidentally disclosed his 
own simple, modest attitude toward the men 
who, under him, advised and helped him: 

"The question that is vital is the one of 
giving values and service. When that repu- 
tation spreads in a community, as we believe 
yours has spread, you are bound to keep on 


growing; in the proportion that you reach 
out in liberal newspaper advertising, you will 
get gratifying resulta 

"I did not mean, when I started in, to give 
you a talk that would separate you from your 
money in an advertising appropriation, but I 
am so much wrapped up and committed to 
this phase of the business that I have to be 
very carefully censored if my letters are to go 
out to our customers without some of this 
dope in them. 

"They are pretty kind to me around here 
and, after I have started on this topic, they 
usually allow it to pass, so that, if it comes 
to you as I have written it, you will reali2;e 
that, while I have started it on my own re^ 
sponsibihty, it has been sanctioned by the 
authorities and it is therefore considered 
good advice. 

"It seems to me that one thing which 
manifests itself very conspicuously in business 
today is the lack of enterprise on the part of 
most retailers and manufacturers. They are 



1 1 ■> 
1 1- 







too prone to follow the lines of least resist- 
ance. This does not apply to you or to us 
but undoubtedly you have observed it in 
others. It is just such a situation as this that 
makes an opportunity for progressive men. 

"I hope I have not tired you. I want you 
to know that my interest in your success is 
even greater than the prospect of increasing 
our business with you. I am prompted by 
selfish motives, of course, but if I did not feel 
that my own selfishness were coupled with 
your self-interest, I should not think of mak- 
ing these suggestions.'' 

Another merchant was a man who showed 
great accuracy and care in watching his busi- 
ness and who was a constant source of delight 
to Mr. Schaffher. While they did not meet 
often, their friendship was warm and real. 
Here is an extract firom a letter written to 
warn against outside enterprises: 

"I talk to you firankly about all things and 
in the spirit of an adviser and a critic. You 
cannot afford to make any mistakes after all 



r..w, II i I 

these years, and I cannot afford to let you. 
You have worked hard and deserve your 
reward. There is one thing I must say to 
you, which is that you should not withdraw 
money from the business to put into outside 
enterprises, no matter how alluring the pros- 
pect may be. Either be a merchant or the 
other thing; you cannot be both. No one 
ever made a success doing more than one 
thing; at least, not many people have done 
so. If they have, it was by accident. I know 
how sincerely earnest you are, that you are 
conscientious and scrupulous, but your out- 
side ventures represent bad judgment. I can- 
not help but speak out frankly about this and 
hope it may be the means of checking your 
tendencies in that direction. What I write 
to you is not because we are at all apprehen- 
sive, but because we want you to reali2;e the 
truth of a general principle. Also because we 
want to give you the benefit of our best judg- 
ment, which is to concentrate, to do one 
thing and one thing only, to strengthen your 


W I'l * 






capital and keep on advertising. You have 
been doing some excellent work. I do not 
know where I have seen anything that I con^ 
sider quite as original, and it ought to be 
correspondingly effective/' 

A bank sent in an inquiry regarding a large 
account. The inquiry was of such importance 
that it was answered by Mr. Schaffiier him^ 
self, and the bank replied asking if the com^ 
pany had any special arrangements to protect 
itself with the account in question. Mr. 
Schaffner was much incensed at the sugges- 
tion thus conveyed, that while he had been 
good enough to give some of the information 
desired, he might have withheld some facts 
of importance. His answer was a revelation of 
the man's unalloyed integrity. He wrote: 

"If the ethics of banking justify concealing 
security, the ethics of our business do not. 
If we held security and did not mention the 
fact to you in our reports, it would be noth- 
ing short of corruption, and we are not at all 
flattered by your inquiry.'' 



He was unalterably opposed to mixing 
business and politics. He felt that, if a man 
wanted to go into poHtical work for patriotic 
reasons, it was a fine thing, but in that event 
he should get out of business. One letter 
written to a prominent merchant fully reveals 
his thought on that point: 

"I have just been informed that you prO' 
pose to enter politics and be a candidate for 
the state legislature. I was so much affected 
by it that I could not refrain from expressing 
to you my thorough disapproval. 

"Perhaps you may say that it is none of 
my affair and, therefore, my disapproval does 
not matter to you but, in spite of this, I feel 
that I owe you a duty which I must be fear- 
less in expressing and, at the risk of losing 
even your good opinion, I am going to do my 

"Politics for a business man is a very poor 
combination. A man who enters politics must 
expect to devote himself enthusiastically to 
the cause that he espouses. It is a constant 

[67 1 


I i 



appeal to him and means unremitting, arduous 
and concentrated effort. It arouses ambition 
and his pride is involved to such a degree 
that he stakes ahnost everything and generally 
comes out, no matter how victorious he may 
be, disastrously. There are very few poli- 
ticians who have not had a bitter experience 
of this kind. 

"It might be all right enough if you had 
plenty of leisure and plenty of means and 
wanted to make a sacrifice from patriotic 
motives but, if you do that and can afford to 
do that, I should advise you to get out of 
business, because your business will surely 
suffer in more than one way. It will suffer 
by reason of your neglect and it will suffer be- 
cause of the partisanship that you are bound 
to espouse. Politics will cost you a lot of 
money and it will mean lots of heartaches 
and weariness. It will take you away from 
your family to a great extent. It will put you 
in contact with temptations that will strain 
your manhood to the utmost. 


"If you are ambitious to be a successful 
merchant, which I am sure is a very laud- 
able aim, it seems to me that, since you have 
started out to make so much of your busi' 
ness, that in itself ought to give you sufficient 
activity to arouse the best that is in you. I 
think any man can well afford to devote him- 
self to business and find in it compensations 
that will reward him richly for his devotion. 

"I say this outside of pecuniary considera- 
tions. But it is not possible for a man to do 
this and have his mind occupied with politics 
and all of the many radiations of a political 
career. I have seen so much of this that I 
know what I am talking about. I have had 
occasion to warn a few people and, if they 
had heeded my warning, they would have 
been much happier than they are now. One 
of them did heed it rather late and is better 
off than if he had paid no attention to it at all. 

"The idea that you will get glory and re- 
nown out of it, I think, is probably what act- 
uates you but, instead of that, you will find 



J 'J 
■ "'•■.' 

!'■' i 

humiliation. You must be prepared to stand 
a good deal of abuse because that is the price 
you pay for the running and, if you are very 
sensitive, you cannot get sufficient satisfaction 
out of the office to recompense you for the 
chagrin that you will suffer. After you have 
spent a few years in this life, you will be un- 
fitted for anything else. You will not be a fit 
man for a mercantile life because it will not 
be sufficiently exciting and, in the meantime, 
your business will suffer. 

"I am writing very frankly to you about 
this and, as I said before, it may not meet 
with your approval, but that does not matter 
to me. I have expressed myself rather mildly. 
I think if I could have you face to face, I 
would be more blunt and give you even a 
stronger reason than I can put into a letter. 

"I am not doing this to hurt your feelings 
or to say something for the sake of preaching. 
I am very deeply interested in the welfare of 
your concern. I feel that it requires the con- 
centrated efforts of both of you to bring your 





■y^— or 




f III: 


humiliation. You must be prepared to stand 
a good deal of abuse because that is the price 
you pay for the running and, if you are very 
sensitive, you cannot get sufficient satisfaction 
out of the office to recompense you for the 
chagrin that you will suffer. After you have 
spent a few years in this life, you will be un^ 
fitted for anything else. You will not be a fit 
man for a mercantile life because it will not 
be sufficiently exciting and, in the meantime, 
your business will suffer. 

"I am writing very frankly to you about 
this and, as I said before, it may not meet 
with your approval, but that does not matter 
to me. I have expressed myself rather mildly. 
I think if I could have you face to face, I 
would be more blunt and give you even a 
stronger reason than I can put into a letter. 

"I am not doing this to hurt your feelings 
or to say something for the sake of preaching. 
I am very deeply interested in the welfare of 
your concern. I feel that it requires the con- 
centrated efforts of both of you to bring your 



I ill 



Ur\^>C(^ ^TvX-, /^ ^^^SZ^ 

' / 

^/Cj( — y IT --C< 


^-^ <=*^ 




i; ^ 


business up to a point where it ought to be 
and where it is not as yet by any means. If 
you think you can afford to abandon your 
duty in this way, then your standing as a 
merchant must suffer and you must be pre^ 
pared for the effect it will have upon your 
mercantile standing/' 

Mr. Schaffner's letters to salesmen were 
most stimulating, strongly supporting, en- 
couraging to greater effort, and filled with 
friendly advice. He understood how to make 
significant use of praise and how to criticise 
so gently that his reader was not depressed. 
Many of his letters to salesmen have been 
preserved. The following is an extract from 
one such letter, written in 1900: 

"I want to congratulate you on the nice 
order just received. It's the strongest kind of 
evidence that you are competent to discharge 
responsibilities of the most delicate nature. 
It certainly speaks well for your salesmanship 
and we are more than ever convinced that 
you are the right man in the right place.'' 

. [73I 





h ' 


From another, written in 1 916, we take 

"I have been criticising you lately. Now 
I want to praise you. The work that you 
have been doing shows what you can do 
when you get really stirred up and go out on 
the warpath. Now just keep this up the rest 
of the season, and you will get some nice 
letters from me. I know you have some that 
you have kept for nearly twenty years, and 
you can add this one to them. It is my tri\y 
ute of admiration and appreciation of what 
you can do and your generally fine record 
during all the years we have been associated 

The kindly mixture of praise and criticism 
in the following is characteristic: 

"Some of you deserve to be criticised and 
we do not want to do that. We know how 
discouraging it is, when one thinks he is try- 
ing to do his best, and is out on the road 
away from home, to have faultfinding letters; 
but really some of you ought to get them, 


only I am not very well qualified to fulfill 
this function. So if you will just take it upon 
yourselves to do your own criticising, and 
make your own self-examinations, and look 
into the inward springs of your salesmanship, 
you will see where the weakness is. 

"It will certainly do none of you any harm, 
even those who are deserving of praise. All 
of us are better off if we set a high standard 
for our mark and if we are impatient of our 
own shortcomings. Selfdiscipline backed by 
determination and an invincible purpose is 
the most valuable asset any of us can possess.**' 

Here is another example of his helpful and 
vigorous method: 

"I beHeve, if we could really appreciate 
what we have here, we should be overflow- 
ing with the joy of our activities and grateful 
that we are connected with a business that 
has given us such opportunities. 

"I do not think many of you realize what 
it means to be connected with all the fine 
things that have been developed in our busi- 





•M V 


ness here. Often men come to their daily 
work with aversion. Many a man comes to 
his desk in the morning with a feeling of re- 
vulsion. How much more difficult it is for 
those who are working under such conditions 
than it is for us who have so many elevating 
things to cheer us. 

"The labor situation, which is something 
that is very seldom referred to, is to a large 
extent responsible for the high quality of our 
product, as compared to what it would be 
under ordinary circumstances. We have now 
a body of eager and sympathetic workers 
who are expressing their loyalty by the most 
devoted co-operation. 

"Now, this is a little bit of self-praise that 
we can affi^rd to indulge in and to whisper 
to each other once in a while, just to keep us 
from being too modest and self-deprecatory. 
Sometimes, you know, we go to the other 
extreme, but it is almost as bad to underesti- 
mate ourselves as to overestimate. We must 
be conscious of our strength and exult in it.'' 



Enthusiasm was not simply a personal trait 
of Mr. Schaffiier's character; it was a gospel, 
which he constantly delivered to his fellow- 
workers. In a letter to a discouraged salesman 
he wrote in part as follows: 

"We reali^ that you are working under 
very unusual conditions and that you are 
meeting with obstacles that are probably 
greater than you have ever encountered. We 
are making due allowance for these condi- 
tions, and want to tell you that we are sure 
you are not overlooking anything that will 
help you to offset the difficulty. We know 
that if there is any mian who can do this it 
is yourself, and we feel satisfied that you have 
done all anybody could do under the cir- 

"All we ask of you is that you do not be- 
come discouraged. We know that you are 
working like a Trojan and doing your duty 
as you always have done it, and that when 
you get home you will bring with you all the 
business there is to be had. We shall try to 




If If t 

Stir up enthusiasm enough to help balance 
things a little bit. We know if any goods can 
be sold down there you are the boy who 
can do it, and we want you to feel that we 
have the utmost faith in your loyalty and in 
your devotion to the business/' 

To the younger executives his correspon- 
dence was always a delight. From on board 
the "Imperator" on September 6, 191 3, when 
it was about to sail for Europe, he wrote: 

"Your rare judgment and enthusiasm are 
unspeakably cherished by me. We can accom- 
plish anything we undertake, and whatever 
we achieve will be in a large measure due to 
the fine spirit which pervades our organi2;a- 

In the same year, from the Grand Hotel at 
Meran, he wrote: 

"I have tried in my feeble way to tell you 
what good boys you are and I want you to 
get this acknowledgment even though you 
are already convinced of the place you hold 
in my esteem and ajflfection.'' 




Sometimes he gently chided one of us in a 
humorous vein. To one of the employes who 
was slowly recovering from a severe illness, 
and who expressed his distress at not being 
able to return to his duties, Mr. Schaffner 

"Fretting and chafing is a good occupation 
for a balky horse; at least it is expected, even 
if it is not very laudable, even in a horse; but 
a man who has acquitted himself in all the 
relations of Ufe as you have ought not to 
make a jackass of himself.'' 

He expressed himself frequently with rare 
humor. Writing from Aix-les-Bains, while in 
Europe, of his son, he said: 

"He is a dear, good boy. His great vice 
over here is running into bookstores. He has 
been obliged to read some of the best things 
and, strange to say, has enjoyed them." 

While away in 1908, he received his daily 
letter from the office and, as an appreciation, 
wrote this from the Hotel Mirabeau, Aix4es- 
Bains, on June 7, 1908: 







\\ J! 

"You people in the ojflSce keep me so well 
informed about what is going on at home 
that I feel sure I am almost better posted than 
when I am on the spot." 

Here is a characteristic letter, written from 
New York City on April i8, 1912: 

"Just a few minutes before we leave for 
the boat and I have only time enough to ac 
knowledge your Twentieth Century letter. 
It is an unspeakable joy to picture you boys 
in the organi2;ation with your enthusiasm and 
loyalty backed by sound judgment. Keep it 
up and continue to forget yourselves. Be care^ 
fill to get plenty of rest and once in a while 
think of something besides business. I look 
forward, in spite of the disheartening sea 
tragedy, to a happy time and hope to find 
you all reahzing your present expectations 
when I return.'' [The sea tragedy referred to 
was the sinking of the "Titanic."'] 

A letter to a young employe of the com- 
pany, written on June 12, 1916, contained 
this fine, inspiring note: 




"It will be a long time before you will use 
up what is on the credit side of your account 
on the ledger of my memory. Certainly there 
will be a balance too great for you to exhaust 
during my lifetime." 

To another about to go abroad, he wrote: 

"Here's wishing you a fine voyage and a 
happy time abroad. I assume you will be on 
the lookout for interesting art material. Per- 
haps some inspiration over there will lead to 
a canvas that will add fresh laurels to your 
reputation as an artist. 

"You might even find some suggestion that 
would enhance the art work of the old, re- 
liable firm of clothiers that you have done so 
much to make famous. At Algiers be sure to 
take a good look at the Arab quarters and 
also the beautiful St. George Hotel that is 
probably not open now. 

"Well, wherever you are, make the most 
of your opportunities and be sure that my 
good wishes are around somewhere. Good 
luck and safe return." 

[81 1 







He was always very particular about the 
character of the letters that were written by 
his associates and his example in letter-writ- 
ing was the standard for the whole office. 
The maximum of praise to anyone was to be 
told that his letter was like Mr. Schaffiier's. 

At one time a famous New England house 
pulDlished a book including the best letters 
ever written and gave it the title "Selected 
English Letters/' This book contained such 
letters as the following: Sir Henry Sidney 
to his son, Philip Sidney, Dean Swift to 
Alexander Pope, Dr. Samuel Johnson to the 
Earl of Chesterfield, Robert Bums to the Earl 
of Glencaim, Sir Walter Scott to George 
Crabbe, Samuel Taylor Coleridge to William 
Godwin, Charles Lamb to William Words- 
worth, Lord Byron to Thomas Moore, Percy 
Bysshe Shelley to John Keats, Thomas Carly le 
to Benjamin DisraeH, Thomas Macaulay to 
his fether, Abraham Lincoln to Horace Gree- 
ley, Charlotte Bronte to Robert Southey, 
John Ruskin to Charles Eliot Norton, James 


— -ffc^ .<A 


Russell Lowell to Ralph Waldo Emerson, 
Thomas Bailey Aldrich to WiUiam Dean 
Howells, all of them famous, and the list con- 
cluded with a letter from Hart Schafiher fe? 
Marx to one of its customers. The letter was 
one that had been prepared by a member of 
the staff in the usual course of business and the 
fact that the publishers thought it worthy to 
appear in such association gave Mr. Schaffiier 
a great deal of pleasure. 

In all his letters, the fine spirit of optimism, 
of friendliness, of good will, appeared in a 
generous degree. The sound business judg- 
ment of the man, his unselfish desire to help 
"the other fellow/' his feithful readiness to 
criticise and admonish, all these were strongly 
characteristic of him. He simply expressed 


[83 1 




NE of the most enduring and con^ 

structive acts of Mr. Schaffner's 

life is the part he played in estate 

lishing better relations between 

employer and employe. 

The problem of industrial relations con' 
fronted his company suddenly in the last dec 
ade of his life; the field was one absolutely 
new to him but his mind was prepared to 
grasp it. He had read freely the writings of 
men who took a broad view of labor proly 
lems and his own natural desire to apply 
justice to every problem gave him a fine prep^ 
aration for the task. He looked quickly into 
the real situation and his wisdom in the solu^ 
tion is a striking confirmation of the idea that 
a broad and Uberal culture coupled with a 
practical grasp of the great principle of justice 
and right is really superior to any amount of 
special training. 

[85 1 


I n 

, i 


His partners and he had established an 
acknowledged leadership in the clothir^ in^ 
dustry which was tangibly evident in the 
existence of a great establishment and they 
did not dream that the company was still to 
achieve a position of pre-eminence in the his- 
tory of industrial relations. 

Up to the time of the great clothing strike 
in Chicago in 1910, Mr. Schafiher had given 
little thought to the manufacturing phases of 
the business; his mind had been entirely en- 
grossed in management and promotion. At 
that time of life, he had no intention of ac 
quiring new interests or responsibilities. 

The strike had become so prolonged and 
spectacular as to attract the attention of the 
newspapers which, after their manner, had 
set about to develop the sensational features 
of the situation. This publicity and the criti- 
cisms of committees, among the members of 
which were close personal friends, disturbed 
him greatly. The clothing business had only 
recently emerged from the contractors' stage. 


Under that system, the manufacturer did not 
make the garments at all but sub-let the manu- 
facturing to contractors, so that no relations 
existed between the company and the actual 
workers. Mr. Schaffher and his partners had 
departed from that system and had estab- 
lished what is known as "inside shops.'' An 
"inside shop" is one where the company 
employs the workers and directs all the proc- 
esses itself and becomes the actual employer. 
That system existed when the strike began. 

The first reports of the strike which came 
to the company failed to reveal anything of a 
troublesome or disquieting nature. Indeed, 
a few days before the strike, accordir^ to his 
statement before the Federal Industrial Rela^ 
tions Committee in 1914, Mr. Schaffiier re- 
marked to a merchant on the satisfactory 
condition existing in the company's shops. 

During the earlier weeks of the strike, he 
believed the work of a few agitators whose 
influence would soon decline was responsible 
but, as the demonstration continued and the 





bitterness increased, he was forced to occupy 
himself with it more and more. He was as^ 
tonished and offended that his partners and 
he should be regarded as reactionary em" 
ployers and held responsible for the situation. 
It had not occurred to him that there m^ht 
be abuses in the system which prevailed in 
the shops. There was no lack of advice from 
employers experienced in labor disputes. They 
all warned him of the danger in making any 
concession to the workers, especially as it 
might encourage unionism in Chicago. Union- 
ism, he was told, was the great menace which 
would jeopardi2;e the institution which had 
been so successfully built up by his associates 
and himself in the past years and of which 
he was so proud. 

Early in the struggles, the company con- 
sented to arbitrate, but stipulations had been 
made concerning the reinstatement of em- 
ployes guilty of violence, which the strikers 
interpreted to mean the abandonment of their 
leaders in the strike. 


Mr. Schaffner's mind became completely 
obsessed with the strike and he could think 
of little else. He endeavored to find some plan 
which would solve the problem. His sound 
and cautious business sense, however, would 
not permit him to adopt some course simply 
because it made a strong appeal to his gen- 
erous sentiments without weighing it care- 
fully as a business proposition. 

He soon caught the concept that "the good 
will of the employes is a business asset com- 
parable to the good will of the customer,'' 
and it shortly became the guiding principle in 
his thinking on industrial relations. His suc- 
cess in advertising was such that it was quite 
natural that the value of good will in general 
should have been highly appreciated by him. 

He was prepared also to estimate at its 
true value the approval of public opinion and 
he could easily see that in the future the pub- 
lic was likely to become more and more in- 
terested in the conditions under which the 
clothing they wore was manufactured. In 





his keen-sighted way, he had perceived that 
people are attracted toward business con- 
cerns as well as toward individuals who rep- 
resented to them something worthy, whether 
on account of its beauty, its virtue, or its good 
repute. Just as he wished his own name to 
be associated with what is good and noble, 
so he wished the name of his company to be 
well regarded, for business as well as senti- 
mental reasons. 

The strike was finally settled by an agree- 
ment to arbitrate but this was only the first 
step in a movement looking toward the es- 
tablishment of some system by which strikes 
would be impossible in the future. 

He had never given much attention to the 
subject of industrial relations but his natural 
sense of "doing the right thing'" was a safe 
guide in the delicate and somewhat intricate 
negotiations which were then undertaken be- 
tween the firm and the leaders of the workers. 
He entered upon the conferences which fol- 
lowed with characteristic spirit; just as he 



— •:-«' 

had faith in the high-minded policies of the 
firm in merchandising and advertising, so now 
this policy was exercised with reference to 


The difficulties which attended the tran- 
sition from the old system of autocratic con- 
trol to the new system of agreement were 
numerous and formidable. These difficulties 
were to some extent in the attitude of the 
mind of the men with whom he was dealing. 
The workers were slow in their adaptation 
to the new policy proposed, and few of them 
had much faith in it. 

The greatest single step was taken when 
the power of discipline was taken away from 
the shop-foreman. Most of the practical men 
were positive that the plan would seriously 
impair the quality of the merchandise; that 
the foreman, not being able to exercise dis- 
cipline, would be unable to get good results 
in the work. Under these circumstances, 
there was little to depend upon but faith; 
but his strong belief in the law of compensa- 

[91 1 

tion, and his firm confidence in his own sense 
of justice and in doing the right thing, led 
him to assert that the compensation would 
be sure, even though delayed and not clearly 
discernible then. The results showed how 
thoroughly correct he was. 

That quality in him which we call idealism 
had its source in a few fundamental prin- 
ciples which were firmly established in his 
mind, and which exerted their force at a time 
hke that. He quickly grasped the point of 
view of the workers; he sympathi2;ed with 
their desire to have something to say about 
their own labor contribution to the success 
of the business and the conditions under 
which they were to work. 

It is imnecessary to recount in detail the 
long negotiations, the discussions of policy 
and method which ensued, out of which grew 
the now celebrated "Hart Schafiher fe? Marx 

The union leaders found themselves deal' 
ing with men of open-minded spirit, eager to 




1^.. ^■•»^ ■» • 

know and do the right thing; they were thus 
encouraged to approach the subject in the 
same attitude and the results were quickly 
secured. The "agreement'' was a triumph of 
that spirit. It has been in force ever since it 
was first entered upon and has proved satis- 
factory to both parties. It is now revised 
every three years and renewed willingly by 
the firm and the workers. 

In a letter addressed to one of the arbi- 
trators under the agreement, Mr. SchaflFner 
wrote: "If we go down in history as a path- 
finder in a great movement, it will be an 
achievement that will be a richer reward 
than money can furnish." 

In testifying before the Federal Commis- 
sion on Industrial Relations at Washington in 
1914, he thus characterized his own attitude; 
he said he believed that an employer of labor 
was a trustee, not only of the stockholders of 
his company, and of the customers of the 
house, but also of all those who worked with 
him and for him. His testimony at that time 




was given wide publicity, the great news^ 
papers of the country playing it up in their 
news columns and many of them referred to 
it editorially. A typical news article on the 
subject appeared in the "Chicago Tribune'' on 
April 9, 1914, with the heading: "Harmony 
Needed to Avoid Strikes; Joseph Schaffher 
Explains How Industrial Peace Can Be Ob^ 
tained/' The despatch under a Washington 
date line of April 8th was as follows: 

Joseph Schaffner of Hart Schafiher &* Marx, 
Chicago, today offered the Federal Commission on 
Industrial Relations the most valuable suggestion it 
has yet received for settling wage disputes. 

Recoimting his own experiences as an employer 
of labor, Mr. Schaffner said it was necessary that 
there be harmony of interests between the employer 
and the employe to get satisfactory results from the 

OflBcials Trustees for All 

He expressed what is regarded as the most en^ 
lightened view of employment when he said : 

"I believe that the officers of a corporation are 
trustees of the interests of all connected with the 
institution. Decisions affecting the interests of any 


group should not be made until such interests have 
the opportunity to present their case. Where there 
is any doubt as to fairness of any decision or policy 
there should be a disinterested tribunal to review 
the decision. 

"In my opinion, the chief cause of hostility and 
bad feeling between the employer and the employe 
is the usual lack of any means for determining 
what is right or wrong— i. e., the lack of common 
code or disinterested authority whose judgment is 
respected by both sides. Disputes once settled, even 
if one side loses, are seldom the cause of trouble; it 
is the unsettled disputes that are dangerous.'' 

Mr. Schaffner, in speaking of the strike as it af" 
fected his own concern, said careful study of the 
situation led him to believe the fundamental cause 
was that the workers had no satisfactory channel 
through which minor grievances, petty tyranny, and 
exactions of minor bosses could be taken up and 
adjusted amicably. These grievances were allowed 
to accumulate without any sympathetic action on 
the part of the employers until finally the walkout 

Conferences during the strike between represent 
tatives of the firm and representatives of the em^ 
ployes resulted in the building up of a republican 
form of government within the industry in which 
all interests were represented. 

[95 1 





Results of New System 

In speaking of this system the Chicagoan said : 

"A summary of the essentials of the system 
which has produced such gratifying results in our 
institution would include : 

"A labor department, responsible for industrial 
peace and good will of the employes, of necessity 
fully informed as to their sentiments, their organiza^ 
tions, and really representing their interests in the 
councils of the company. 

"A means for the prompt and final settlement of 
all disputes. 

"A conviction in the minds of the employes 
that the employer is fair and that all their interests 
are safeguarded. 

"Constant instruction of the leaders and people 
in the principles of business equity, thus gradually 
evolving a code acceptable to all parties in interest, 
serviceable as a basis for adjustment of all difficulties. 

"The development of efficient representation of 
the employes. 

"A friendly policy toward the union so long as 
it is conducted in harmony with the ethical princi^ 
pies employed in the business and an uncompromis' 
ing opposition to all attempts to coerce or impose 
upon the rights of any group or to gain an unfair 



"A management that guarantees every man full 
compensation for his efficiency and prevents any 
one receiving anything he has not earned. 

Restores Smaller Shop Conditions 

"Briefly expressed,'' he continued, "it is simply 
the natural and healthy relation which usually 
exists between the small employer and his half do^n 
workmen, artificially restored, as far as possible, in 
a large scale business where the real employer is a 
considerable group of executives managing thou" 
sands of workers according to certain established 
principles and policies. 

"I hope that it will become clear to everybody 
that the successful result of these developments had 
depended much less upon the formal and external 
features than upon the spirit with which it has been 
worked out. I am not able to say how far the suc^ 
cess is dependent upon the men who have been in^ 
strumental in developing it but I do know that we 
have been most fortunate in our personnel. 

"I wish to speak in the highest terms of the ar^ 
bitrators and the chairman of the trade board, and 
also of Mr. Hillman, who developed a wonderful 
influence over people who came in contact with him 
because of his high ideals, his patience under trying 
circumtstances, his indomitable feith in the ultimate 
success of right methods. 

[97 1 







Will Accept Board's Rulings 

"So long as the unions are working toward the 
ideal we aim at — i. e., justice toward every interest 
connected with the institution and the highest eco^ 
nomic eflSciency, which is the same as saying per^ 
forming our duty toward everybody inside and 
outside of the institution, employes, stockholders, 
customers, and the general public— we wish to see 
them strong. We are willing that our Board of Ar^ 
bitration should decide just what justice is and are 
willing to accept its interpretation. 

"Because there is no guaranty that those who 
control the unions (which are often not representa^ 
tive of the members) will hold to this ideal, we do 
not care to be committed to the 'closed shop.' If 
such a change should come we would be required 
to restrict the power of the unions as far as we 

An editorial relating to the foregoing tes- 
timony appeared in the "Chicago Tribune" on 
May 8, 19 14, and, as it is representative of 
press opinion at that time, it is here repro- 

"The labor press of the United States is making 
much of the statement recently made by Mr. 
Schaflfner of Hart Schaffner 6P Marx before the 



Federal Commission on Industrial Relations in 
Washington. The Hart Schaflftier 6? Marx firm has 
won national prominence by the trade agreement 
it has made with its 7,000 employes, an agreement 
which gives both the manufacturers and the work- 
ers peace with honor. 

"In giving his and his corporation's views on the 
labor problem, Mr. Schaflfner had said: 'I believe 
the officers of a corporation are trustees of the in^ 
terests of all connected with the institution.' The 
labor papers of the country welcome this statement. 
They see in this broad-minded utterance of a large 
employer of labor a proof that a new era in the 
relationship between capital and labor is at hand, 
an era in which the himian factor in industry will 
be taken more and more into consideration. 

"Not only labor people but every citizen who 
has the peace and welfare of the country at heart 
wiU find in this broad liberalism of certain employ- 
ers relief firom the gloom which such stubbornly 
contested strikes as those of West Virginia, Michi' 
gan and Colorado have thrown over the nation." 

In the "Century Magazine'' of July, 191 5, 

there appeared an article entitled, "A Way 

to Industrial Peace," by George Creel, in 

which the author fully treated the industrial 

plan which Mr. Schaffner and his partners 








had fathered and, after giving the details of 
the machinery, the article went on to say: 

"Doubtless all this may carry an effect of confu^ 
sion to the average mind, and yet its operation in 
the conduct of this particular business has become 
frictionless and even noiseless. During the kst two 
years, there has not been a shop strike, there has 
seldom been an appeal from the price committee, 
the Trade Court considers an increasingly small num^ 
ber of cases, and since January, 191 3, the Board of 
Arbitration has not been called upon to hear appeals 
in more than five or six cases. 

"It is difficult to grasp the idea until one grasps 
the Schaffner theory of business. As he sees it, the 
large concern and its employes constitute a small 
society. Under conditions where the employer does 
not consider the rights of the employes, this society 
is a despotism, and under conditions where the 
workers are given a voice, it is a republic. When 
the change was made from the monarchical form to 
the republican form, the original agreement became 
the constitution, and the Trade Court and the Board 
of Arbitration were given legislative and judicial 
powers. What had to be done then was to have 
laws made and interpreted in such a manner as to 
give every member of the society full understand' 
ing of his rights^ his obligations, and his respon^ 
sibilities. ^ 'f ^ "f ^ ^, 



**It must not be assumed that Mr. Schaffner is 
any amiable philanthropist, weakly willing to lose 
money and make concessions for the sake of bask^ 
ing in the warm light that streams from adulatory 
press notices. He is frankly a product of the com- 
petitive school, and has not advanced to his present 
attitude without making many a fight against his 
own bitter prejudices. Had he been convinced that 
right was on his side in the 1910 strike, he would 
have stood by his guns until destroyed. What such 
a man has to say must carry weight. He declares: 

"'Industrial peace will never come so long as 
either employer or employe believes that he is being 
deprived of rights honestly belonging to him. 

" 'Arbitration and conciliation should be applied 
to all departments of a business, wherever there is 
a conflict of interest. If nothing more, it insures 
exhaustive discussion of every matter of importance, 
gives everybody an opportunity to express his opin- 
ions, frequently brings to light valuable suggestions, 
and makes possible a higher degree of co-operation 
and team-work. It is a method to be employed con- 
tinuously to secure harmony and satisfaction. 

" 'Patience and self-control are essential in admin- 
istering a business on this basis. It is human nature 
to resent interference and to desire unrestricted 
liberty of action, but these conditions are not nec- 
essary and are often inimical to true success. Few 


hi ■ 


• { 

men can use unlimited power wisely, and no wise 
man will dispense with checks which tend to keep 
him in the right path; certainly he will approve of 
checks calculated to restrain his agents from arbi- 
trary and unjust acts to fellow-employes. 

" 'I have found that disputes once settled, even if 
one side loses, are seldom causes of trouble. It is 
the unsettled disputes that are dangerous. This fail- 
ure of adjustment is largely due to the lack of means 
for determining what is right or wrong, the lack of 
a common code, and the absence of a disinterested 
authority whose judgment is respected by both sides. 
" 'We did not reali^, and we believe the majority 
of employers do not yet realize, the extent to which 
the attitude and conduct of their organized em- 
ployes reflect their own poUcies and conduct. 

" 'In our own business, employing thousands of 
persons, some of them newly-arrived immigrants, 
many of them in opposition to the wage system 
and hostile to employers as a class, we have ob- 
served astonishing chaiiges in their attitude during 
the four years under the influence of our labor 
arrangement. They have come to feel that they can 
rely upon promises made by the company, and that 
justice will be done them by a system in which 
they themselves have a voice; and as a result, they 
are proud of their own honor, careful of their 
promises, and equally eager for justice to all." '' 

I 102 J 


Many other articles appeared in such maga" 
zines as "The Independent," "Survey/' "Out- 
look," "Nation" and others, explaining to the 
public the nature of the Hart Schaflfner fe? 
Marx agreement. 

Mr. Schafiher declared that, when his mind 
was turned to industrial economics, he was 
too old to think very far into the fundamen- 
tal principles of social justice, but his natural 
instincts made his contribution to industrial 
history as well as to the welfare of the cloth- 
ing industry a most notable one. The agree- 
ment which he and his associates entered 
upon with their workers was the greatest 
advance made in industrial history in a gen- 

The details of operation under this agree- 
ment have been widely published and are 
pretty generally known to all who are in- 
terested in such matters. They would be 
interesting here only as a light on the broad- 
minded and Hberal attitude of Mr. Schaffner 
and his partners. 



A single incident may be mentioned. It is 
reported that, when the conference was first 
in session after the long strike Mr. Schaffher 
said to those most directly in charge of the 
matter: "Now, let us not win any brilliant 
victories.*" The fine temper of the man could 
not be better shown. 


i I 




DEEP and sincere admiration for 
intellectual attainments was an 
outstanding characteristic of Mr. 
Schaffiier. The pleasure he gained 
from reading came as much from a veneration 
for the inteUect which could accomplish such 
work as from the manner and matter of the 

work itself. 

He was himself an idealist by nature if not 
by college training; he had a reverence for 
learning and put a high value on the trained 


But he was always the man of business; 
and one of the* most remarkable things about 
him was that nothing he read and nothing 
he thought seemed foreign to the one thing 
to which he had set his mind— the building 
up of the really great business structure which 
his partners and he were rearing. Business 

[1C5 1 




meant to him the opportunity to express his 
ideals and to achieve something more worth 
while than merely making money, although 
his desire for profitable results was as keen 
as any business man's. He held that profit in 
business was an evidence of the soundness of 
his ideas. 

Some years ago certain prominent business 
men were inclined to belittle the value of 
college and university training; and some of 
them said very plainly that the standard proc- 
esses of higher education unfitted men for 
business life; developed impractical theorists 
and idealists. 

Mr. Schaffner neither underestimated the 
value of a college education nor did he over- 
value it. He firmly believed that the training 
and development of the mental powers gave 
men a foundation that should logically be of 
service to business. It was the old contro- 
versy between the so-called practical idea in 
education and the cultural idea. He held the 
view that the value of a college training 



depended not so much upon what was put in- 
to a man's mind as what was brought out of it. 

He would have said, in the words of a 
modem essayist, "The highest service of the 
educated man in our democratic society de- 
mands of him breadth of interest as well as 
depth of technical research. It requires un- 
quenched ardor for the best things, spon- 
taneous delight in the play of mind and 
character, a many-sided responsibiUty that 
shall keep a man firom hardening into a mere 
high-geared, technical machine. It is these 
qualities that perfect a liberal education and 
complete a man s usefulness to his generation. 
Taken by themselves, they fit him primiarily 
for living rather than for making a living.'' 

That quotation well defines Mr. Schaffner 
himself He was increasingly convinced that 
if college men would interest themselves in 
business, rather than turn from it to the pro- 
fessions, the training of the college would be 
of the highest value to the man and to the 



f I 

There were no illusions in his mind that 
college training could be substituted for prac- 
tical experience or that without college train- 
ing there could be no deep intellectual life. 
His own career was evidence to the contrary. 
He was associated with men, his partners as 
well as the leading executives of the business, 
whose natural intellectual endowments be- 
spoke leadership for them with or without 
the advantages of higher education. He knew 
also that to some extent colleges spoiled men 
for business; that the atmosphere of college 
life had a tendency to create, false standards 
and too often to give a tinge of self-importance. 
On the other hand, he knew that education 
for years had been used mainly for the pro- 
fessions; that the law, medicine, ministry, re- 
quired careful study and preparation, and he 
felt that, if mental training could be given 
and knowledge could be imparted that was 
of value to the professions, data could be 
accumulated and principles estabUshed and 
taught concerning business. 



It was natural, therefore, that he should con- 
cern himself with a plan for directing toward 
business the energies of the trained thinker. 

The idea of the Hart Schaffner 6? Marx 
pri2;es for economic essays which were pub- 
licly announced in 1904 must have been in 
his mind for years. He was anxious to stim- 
ulate a real interest in business on the part 
of students and he felt that some invitation 
from business itself would be effectual and at 
the same time promote the idea of study, 
research and investigation in the business 
world. Out of his thought and plan along 
these lines came another thing of great public 
importance and of vital interest to him to the 
end of his life— the Northwestern University 
School of Commerce. 

The prizes for economic essays were the 
first definite expression of his faith in educa- 
tion as an aid to business. The idea of giving 
prizes was freely supported by his partners, 
who contributed annually their share of the 
necessary funds to carry it on. 



\ 1 

• 'I 

The announcement of the offer of the 
prizes appeared in 1904 in the Chicago news- 
papers and created much interest. From the 
day they were offered, the prizes were never 
in any way connected with the business ex- 
cept in the committee announcement which 
stated simply that they were given "through 
the generosity of Hart Schaffher fe? Marx/' 

A notable group of men, conspicuous in 
the economic world, were invited to com- 
'pose the committee which conducted the 
essay contests. The chairman of this com- 
mittee was Professor J. Laurence Laughlin of 
the University of Chicago. He and the men 
associated with him were delighted to have 
a business house enter the educational field 
in this way and they enthusiastically took up 
the work. All of the details for the conduct 
of the prizes, the selection of subjects, the 
conditions and classes, were handled by the 
committee. Following is a copy of the first 
announcement and all of the announcements 
after that were patterned after this style: 

I no] 

) I 

Prizes for Economic Essays 

In order to arouse an interest in the study of topics relating 
to commerce and industry, and to stimulate an examination of 
the value of college training for business men, a committee 
composed of 

Prof. J. Laurence Laughlin, University of Chicago, Chairman; 

Prof. J. B. Clark, Columbia University; 

Prof Henry C. Adams, University of Michigan; 

Horace White, Esq., New York City, and 

Hon. Carroll D. Wright, National Commissioner of Labor, 

have been enabled, through the generosity of Messrs. Hart 
Schaffner 6P Marx, of Chicago, to offer four prises for the best 
studies on any one of the following subjects: 

1. The causes and extent of the recent industrial progress 
of Germany. 

2. To what is the recent growth of American competition 
in the markets of Europe to be attributed ? 

3. The influence of industrial combinations upon the condi' 
tion of the American laborer. 

4. The economic advantages and disadvantages of present 
colonial possessions to the mother country. 

5. The causes of the panic of 1893. 

6. What forms of education should be advised for the 
elevation of wage^earners from a lower to a higher industrial 
status in the United States ? 

7. What method of education is best suited for men enter' 
ing upon trade and commerce ? 





< I 


• V 

A First Prize of One Thousand Dollars, and a 
Second Prizie of Five Hundred Dollars, in Cash, 

are offered for the best studies presented by Class A, composed ex- 
clusively of all persons who have received the bachelor's degree from 
an American college since 1 893 ; and 

A First Prize of Three Hundred Dollars, and a Second 
Prize of One Hundred and Fifty Dollars, in Cash, 

are offered for the best studies presented by Class B, composed of 
persons who, at the time the papers are sent in, are undergraduates 
of any American college. No one in Class A may compete in Class B; 
but any one in Class B may compete in Class A. The CcMTimittee 
reserves to itself the right to award the two prizes of 1 1,000 and ^500 
to undergraduates, if the merits of the papers demand it. 

The ownership of the copyright of successful studies will vest in 
the donors, and it is expected that, without precluding the use of these 
papers as theses for higher degrees, they will cause them to be issued 
in some permanent form. 

Competitors are advised that the studies should be thorough, ex- 
pressed in good English, and not needlessly expanded. They should 
be inscribed with an assumed name, the year when the bachelor's 
degree was received, and the institution which conferred the degree, 
or in which he is studying, and accompanied by a sealed envelope 
giving the real name and address of the competitor. The papers should 
be sent on or before June i, 1905, to 

J. Laurence Laughlin, Esq. 

University of Chicagp 

Box 145, Faculty Exchange Chicago, Illinois 


After the death of Mr. Carroll D. Wright 
and Mr. Horace White, their places were 
taken by Professor Edwin F. Gay and former 
United States Senator Theodore E. Burton, 
and the committee so stands today. Subjects 
are approved; announcements are sent to all 
colleges and to the leading economists of 
America; the papers are read and by a proc- 
ess of elimination come down to the few 
which are possible winners. The reading 
entails great work. An idea of the character 
of the essays and the wide variety of subjects 
covered can be obtained from the following 
list of essays which have thus far been pub- 
lished in book form: 

The Arbitral Determination of Railway Wages, 
by J. Noble Stockett. 

The Results of Municipal Electric Lighting in 
Massachusetts, by Edmond Earle Lincoln. 

The Chicago Produce Market, by Edwin G. 

Railway Rates and the Canadian Railway Com^ 
mission, by Duncan A. MacGibbon. 

Railroad Valuation, by Homer Bews Vanderblue. 

1 113] 







The Taxation of Land Value, by Yetta Scheftel. 
The Canadian Iron and Steel Industry, by W. J. 
A. Donald. 

The Tin-plate Industry, by Donald Earl Dunbar. 
Means and Methods of Agricultural Education, 
by Albert H. Leake. 

The Cause and Extent of the Recent Industrial 
Progress of Germany, by Earl Dean Howard. 

The Causes of the Panic of 1893, by W. Jett 

Industrial Education, by Harlow Stafford Person. 
Federal Regulation of Railroad Rates, by Albert 
N. Merritt. 

Ship Subsidies, by Walter T. Dunmore. 
SociaUsm: A Critical Analysis, by Oscar D. 

Industrial Accidents and Their Compensation, 
by Gilbert L. Campbell. 

The Standard of Living Among the Industrial 
People of America, by Frank Hatch Streightoff. 

The Navigable Rhine, by Edwin J. Clapp. 

Social Value, by Benjamin M. Anderson, Jr. 

History and Organii^ation of Criminal Statistics 
in the United States, by Louis N. Robinson. 

Freight Classification, by J. F. StrombecL 


! < 

Waterways versus Railways, by Harold G. 

The Value of Organi2;ed Speculation, by Harrison 
H. Brace. 

Industrial Education, Its Problems, Methods and 
Dangers, by Albert H. Leake. 

The U. S. Federal Internal Tax History from 1861 
to 1871, by Harry E. Smith. 

Conciliation and Arbitration in the Coal Industry 
of America, by Arthur E. Suffem. 

Welfare as an Economic Quantity, by G. P. 

The Meaning and Application of "Fair Valuation" 
as used by Utility Commissions, by Harleigh N. 

A History of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, 
by Howard Douglas Doziei, 

Mr. Schaffher took the greatest delight in 
the prize essays. He had hoped at the outset 
that the number of contestants would be 
legion but he quickly saw that worth-while 
productions could come only from long study 
and careful research and that such studies 
advanced the cause of commercial education 


I U 




I J 

i { 

much more than a great quantity of mediocre 
productions could do. 

He was delighted, too, in the associations 
which the prize essays created. To Professor 
Laughlin he was very close, and there was a 
fine mutual attachment between the educator 
and the business man. Between Dean Gay of 
Harvard and Mr. Schaffner there was the 
deep respect of one ardent man for another. 
Other members of the committee he met at 
times or exchanged letters with them. 

He always had great interest in the win- 
ners of the pri2;es. The first winner in 1904 
•later became an intimate of Mr. Schaffner and 
ultimately joined the business to become one 
of its executives. Others called or wrote; the 
former received genial welcome, the latter 
beautiful letters. 

The estabhshment of a School of Com- 
merce in Chicago was a natural sequence to 
Mr. Schaffner's thought on the subject of 
commercial education. One or two such 
schools existed in the East, notably at the 


University of Pennsylvania and the College 
of the City of New York, and the project of 
a school in Chicago quickly commanded his 
support. After a preliminary survey, the idea 
was presented to Northwestern University 
and arrangements were quickly made. 

He shrank from the thought of becoming 
the patron of an educational institution; he 
wanted to get the thing done but wished to 
be as inconspicuous in it as possible. He in- 
vited a group of business men of the city to 
lunch at The Mid-Day Club. At this meet- 
ing it was decided that the Association of 
Commerce was the proper body to promote 
the plan. One of the regular Wednesday 
meetings of the Ways and Means Committee 
was given to the subject and a committee 
was appointed to prepare a plan. The idea of 
interesting as many business men as possible 
in the project was adopted and a board of 
guarantors was organiz^ed and the school was 
begun. The first guarantors of the school 
were the following: 




Alfred L. Baker 

Adolphus C. Bartlett 

Harold Benington 

Jonathan W. Brooks 

Charles L. Brown 

R. S. Buchanan 

Edward B. Butler 

J. Fred Butler 

Fayette S. Cable 
ames R. Cardwell 
ohn Alexander Cooper 

Joseph H. DeFrees 

A. Lowes Dickinson 

Herman J. Dirks 

George W. Dixon 

Willnm A. Dyche 

Charles W. Folds 

David R. Forgan 

Edward E. Gore 

Richard C. Hall 

William F. Hypes 

J. Porter Joplin 

William Kendall 

Edward C. Kimbell 

Charles S. Ludlam 

John Lee Mahin 

Charles J. Marr 

Charles A. Marsh 

James Marwick 

Stephen T. Mather 


L. Wilbur Messer 

E. S. Mills 

S. Roger Mitchell 
Arthur G. Mitten 
Luman S. Pickett 
Ernest Reckitt 
WiUiam H. Roberts 
Isadore B. Rosenbach 
Albert W. Rugg 
Joseph Schaffner 
Charles H. Schweppe 
John W. Scott 
W. Ernest Seatree 
EUjah W. Sells 
A. W. Shaw 
George W. Sheldon 
Edward M. Skinner 
Allen R. Smart 
Mason B. Starring 
Joseph E. Sterrett 
Homer A. Stillwell 
Seymour Walton 
Harry A. Wheeler 

F. F. White 
John E. Wilder 

T. Edward Wilder 
Orva G. Williams 
Henry W. Wilmot 
W. A. Winterbum 
Arthur Young 

. The school began modestly in 1908 with 
255 students. Offices and class-rooms were 
provided in the Northwestern University 
Building at the comer of Dearborn and Lake 
Streets. Professor Willard E. Hotchkiss be- 
came the first dean of the school. He grad- 
ually assembled a faculty which in the course 
of time became as strong as any faculty on 
commercial and industrial teaching in the 
country. The school showed strength froin 
the very start and it was only a compara- 
tively few years until there were 700 or 800 
students and a constantly growing interest. 
Meanwhile, the dean of the school came to 
Mr. Schaffner concerning all of his plans. He 
received ample moral support in discouraging 
moments, not to mention the very handsome 
gift of money which Mr. Schaffiier made to 
the school and which did a great deal to help 
it over the rough places in the first ten years 
of its existence. The enrollment for the school 
year of 1 920- 1 92 1 has recently been completed. 
The evening school in the Northwestern 




i t 

Pli I 


University Building has 2,446 students and 
the day school on the campus at Evanston 
has 255. The contribution which the school 
is making, not only in the good that it does 
the students, most of whom have positions 
in various commercial and industrial concerns 
in Chicago, but the research work which is 
undertaken by the faculty of the school, is of 
a character that promises fine development. 

Mr. Schaffner did not have positive ideas 
as to the technology of teaching commercial 
subjects except that he had a strong tendency 
toward the liberal and cultural as against the 
narrowly useful. His interest in commercial 
education seemed to grow out of his desire 
to have men of education and culture around 
him in business and his thoughts naturally 
turned to the means for getting such men to 
enter business. 

It was characteristic of him that he depre- 
cated any efforts to pay him honor for what 
he had done for the cause of commercial 
education. The faculty and students at the 

[120 J 

Northwestern University School of Com- 
merce were constantly desirous of showing 
him their gratitude but on only one or two 
occasions could he be induced to attend 
meetings and then only to sit with the audi- 
ence where he would not be conspicuous. 
The catalogue of the school once contained 
a reference to him as its founder and he asked 
that it be eliminated. Despite this entirely 
sincere modesty, he is regarded by all persons 
as the man who gave the school the necessary 
encouragement and financial support at the 
start and he is commonly acknowledged as 
the school's founder. 

One honor he did accept and appreciate. 
He was elected a trustee of Northwestern 
University, an institution built on denomina- 
tional lines and still so much attached to its 
denominational traditions that the election 
constituted an unusual and special tribute to 
Mr. Schaffner's worth and work. 


a V » 






N a letter written in 191 5 or 1916, 
Mr. Schaffner discussed success 
and commented on the element 
of circumstance in connection 
with it. His thoughts were dictated in an 
off-hand manner, without the remotest idea 
of their being published, but they so well 
define the man that certain paragraphs taken 
disconnectedly are herewith reproduced: 

"To be successful in the real meaning of 
the word is to aspire to something besides 
and beyond money. 

"In business, our standing as merchants is 
measured by financial results. But these are a 
reward only when they represent qualities 
that make one's activities useful and honor^ 

"Many so-called successful men are pov 
erty'Stricken in character and live Hves of 
moral and intellectual penury. 

[ 123 ] 



"While there is occasionally a successful 
man who owes his success ahnost entirely to 
luck, still even in his case to be able to hold 
onto his success shows that he has qualities 
which are unusual. 

"It's harder to keep what one makes some- 
times than to make it. Lots of people have, 
after acquiring a fortune, lost it all or most 
of it through some weakness of judgment. 

"Most men are surprised by their own 
success when it reaches the dimensions that 
some have attained. 

"Imagination is one great essential; judg- 
ment is another. Many men have opportun- 
ities but do not see them. They start with 
plenty of enthusiasm but become impatient 
at the slow progress they make and change 
for something they think better and so they 
go on from one thing to another. Others 
have not enough enterprise to reali2;e that 
they are in the wrong place and stick to an 
umpromising position all their lives, often at 
the cost of happiness. 

[ ^M 1 


"The important thing is to know what op- 
portunity really is when it appears; to be able 
to analy2;e it, perhaps only intuitively, but to 
know when there is a chance to make work 
mean something. 

"Most men in business who come up from 
boyhood are successful because they have 
brains, character and industry. They in- 
spire confidence. Responsibility is gradually 
handed over to them and, as they acquit 
themselves creditably, their opportunities en- 
large. Deserving men imder more appreciative 
management would do much greater things. 
Circumstance is a big factor but, after all, the 
circumstance, in order to materiali:5e, must 
find the man with judgment enough to real- 
iz^ his opportunity. 

"The backbone of real success is character, 
fortitude, courage and judgment. Many an 
impending failure has been turned into a suc- 
cess by the courage of those concerned. 

"Confidence is an essential for every man 
to aspire to; to have people believe in him, 

[ 125 1 


^ f, 




in what he makes and sells or what he says 
and does. You will find in talking with men 
of affairs generally that something in their 
personality commands respect and confidence 
and it is that very thing that their employers 
admired in them at the start. 

"Judgment is one of the greatest factors. 
You will seldom find a man, no matter if he 
is educated or not — he may be very ilUter" 
ate — but if he is signally successful he has 
judgment; he knows men, and judges and 
gauges conditions. 

"There are always critical junctures in 
every business when the judgment and vision 
of one or sometimes two men decide its fate. 
But back of it all must be courage.'' 

In the same letter he gave a glimpse of his 
own business experience which, because it 
came firom his own pen, is deeply interesting. 
It is reproduced substantially as written: 

"Before becoming associated with Harry 
and Max Hart, I was in one position for 
seventeen years and had gone through a daily 

I 126] 

grind of bookkeeping and credit^makii^. The 
people I was with were conservative mer^ 
chants and, while they were very nice to me, 
they probably did not consider my abiHty 
anything more than ordinary. After many 
years of service, I felt that I must resign, 
although it was with fear and trembHng. I 
had no idea how I would be able to make a 
Uving. My family were dependent on my 
earnings. I went to St. Paul to lay the matter 
before a relative and it was decided that I 
should go there and start in the mortgage 
business. Immediately I announced my resign 
nation and, so that I could not retrace my 
steps, I made it publicly known. 

"A few days later I met Harry and Max 
Hart and asked them what they thought of 
the step I was taking. They said they had 
not made up their minds that they were go- 
ing to let me go. I knew what that meant. 
I said, 'If you want me to stay, I will stay.' 
It happened that there was a change then 
taking place in the firm. My joining them 






I! W 

1 1; 



would never have occurred to them, how" 
ever, if I had not been free. They would not 
have made overtures to me if I had not my^ 
self withdrawn from the other concern. 

"I mention this to show that a large ele- 
ment of luck was connected with the whole 
situation. The feet that, this opportunity ex" 
isted and was waiting for me and my own 
determination to sever my connection devel- 
oped about the same time. Otherwise I might 
have gone into the mortgage business and 
made a miserable failure. 

"My own confidence in myself was not 
nearly as great as my confidence in Harry 
and Max. They had a nicely established busi- 
ness. They needed me but I needed them 
much more. They encouraged and inspired 
me. When I started to do a little modest ad- 
vertising, I had no idea where it would lead, 
certainly never dreaming it would develop as 
it did. If I had not been associated with men 
of such eminent merchandising ability there 
would have been no such results." 



N event which brought much 
gratification to Mr. SchaflFner in 
the latter year of his life was his 
association and friendship with 
John E. WiUiams of Streator, IlUnois. Mr. 
Williams was the first chairman of the Arbi- 
tration Board which came into being through 
Mr. Schaffner s desire to dispense justice to 
the employes of the company. He was well 
known in labor circles; he was a man of the 
finest character and of a remarkable sense of 
concihation; he was called a "professional 

There was a warm mutual attachment be- 
tween the two men and no one was more 
deeply moved by the death of Mr. Schafiher 
than Mr. Williams. At his home in Streator, 
he sat down in deep sorrow and penned a 
personal tribute which was so beautifully 
written and so splendidly expresses Mr. 

[ 129 1 


I I 





Schaffiier as he was understood by his asso- 
ciates that we are glad to preserve it by re- 
producing it here: 

"With the passing of Joseph Schaffner, 
there passed one of the finest souls, one of 
the most gracious, most chivalrous spirits I 
have ever known. In him was combined a re- 
markable capacity for business with an un- 
usual genius for the gentler arts of life. 

"He was a pioneer in the great movement 
for industrial peace, a leader among the manu' 
facturers of our day whose larger and more 
generous vision enables them to contemplate 
the coming of an era of fairer relations be- 
tween employers and employed. Not only 
did he aspire for the coming of this era, but 
he labored in practical fashion to bring it 
about; and the success of the famous labor 
agreement of Hart Schaffner fe? Marx is in 
large measure due to his liberal and under- 
standing spirit, his patience, faith and loyalty. 

"As arbitrator under that agreement, my 
own faith has many times been confirmed by 


his unfaltering confidence, and in more than 
one critical situation his generous attitude, his 
unselfish devotion to our common ideal, has 
helped to support the new industrial experi^ 
ment and to keep it in safe and successful 

"Joseph Schaffiier was a business man plus. 
He loved good literature and high thinking. 
He counted among his friends the greatest 
souls of history; he communed with them 
daily in his library and drew firom them in- 
spiration and serenity; and he carried their 
aroma into the counting room and spiritual- 
i2;ed that usually arid atmosphere. No doubt 
the spirits of Matthew Arnold, John Ruskin, 
Ralph Waldo Emerson and the other great 
souls of Hterature had through him their part 
in humanizing modem business and so mak- 
ing possible the success of the Hart Schaffner 
fe? Marx agreement. 

"I do not mourn Joseph Schaffiier. He has 
added something to my life that cannot pass. 
The contact with such a soul leaves effects 



t ■• 





which are immortal. He lives on in thousands 
of lives — those associated with him in the 
counting room, in the work shops, in busi" 
ness and social life; and all of them have been 
enriched by knowing him, all of them have 
had their estimation of human life ennobled 
by him, and the total wealth of the world 
has been increased by as much as he has 
strengthened men's faith in the worth and 
dignity of human life. 

"I rejoice that Joseph Schaffiier has borne 
witness to the worth of our common life. I 
salute him on his passing and bid him, in the 
words of Browning, 'greet the unseen with 
a cheer.' Good-bye, Joseph Schafiher, modem 
business man and perfect gentleman. I thank 
you for having lived your life among us." 

A few days after Mr. Schaffher s death, his 
associates sent the following letter to hun- 
dreds of his personal and business friends to 
express in a small way their sense of great loss 
and their resolution to carry on as far as they 
could his work according to his ideals: 

"It has not been possible until now to 
write you about Mr. Schaffner. Our depth 
of feeling has not given us the command of 
words. He represented so much splendid 
friendship and such high inspiration to those 
of us with whom he daily came in contact 
that we who knew him best are almost dumb 
when we try to put into words the things 
we feel and want to say about him. 

"We knew he was very, very ill, and in 
great sorrow we feared the worst, but a full 
sense of what it means to be without him 
came only after he had gone. 

"Tributes to Mr. Schaffner have been paid 
by men in every walk of life — from university 
men who rejoice in the stimulation and en- 
couragement he gave them; from business 
men who, surveying his work, recogni2;e its 
genius and power; from representatives of 
labor who looked upon him as a friend of sym- 
pathetic understanding. These tributes are so 
numerous and from so many sources that it 
is not possible to give them to you. 

1 133 1 




r I 

'^Those of us who have worked with Mr. 
Schaffher have, in his passing, accepted a great 
trust. To us he has given stimulation, en- 
couragement, hope, praise, ambition, determi- 
nation and happiness. Whoever talked with 
him intimately walked out of his office in a 
glow such as only a man of great intellectual 
power and remarkable sympathy could impart. 

"We have received much from him. It is 
now our high resolution to immortalize what 
he gave us, to carry it into our daily life, to 
transmit it to our business, to our families and 
to our friends. Whatever we can do to per- 
petuate his thought and his spirit will be to 
aid in the perpetuation of something great 
and noble. 

"What is the greatest tribute we can pay 
to his memory? The flowers we send soon 
wither; the words we speak, however elo- 
quent, are soon *a part of the silence.' The 
love we feel for him will continue in our 
hearts as long as we live; but love is in deeds, 
not merely in thoughts and words. 


"Mr. Schafiher lived for ideals; he helped 
every man who came under his influence to 
be a better man— better in business, better in 
daily living, better in his relations to the pub- 
lic and to his associates. He was an inspira- 
tion. He helped to make the clothing business, 
not only his own business but that of the 
customers of the house, and even that of com- 
petitors, cleaner, better, higher in tone. He 
helped to make the relations between em- 
ployer and employe better, sweeter, more 

"Our duty is to live for and carry on his 
ideals. We can raise no greater monument to 
this noble life than to consecrate ourselves, 
in his .high spirit of brotherhood, to the fur- 
ther and greater realization of his splendid 

"To this great enterprise, we now sum- 
mon every man who ineiw md ioved Joseph 

9 • 1 1 

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Schaffner, Joseph, 1848-1918, 

Recollections and impressions of 
his associates. 

j>^d'Y, S 

'S^c^Jf / Y 

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MAR 011994